Szijjártó: Despite the extended deadline, Hungary does not support the EU’s new sanction package

May 04. 2022. – 04:45 PM

The European Commission's new sanctions package against Russia cannot be responsibly supported in this form, as it would destroy Hungary's energy security – The Hungarian State News Agency (MTI) quotes Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó. The minister made the statement in a video on his social media page.

Checking in from Uzbekistan, Szijjártó said that the proposals put forward by the Brussels body include several new restrictions on Russian and Belorussian organizations and individuals, on the import and export of various products, and on certain economic activities. The Foreign Minister stated that the Hungarian government has no problems with these measures.

“In addition, oil shipments from Russia to Europe would be banned, and with a short deadline – in the case of Hungary this would be the end of next year” – he said. In Szijjártó’s opinion this sanction package would “completely destroy the basis of Hungary’s energy supply”, because getting the oil necessary to keep the economy going would become impossible.

Referring to its sources, Reuters had previously reported that Hungary and Slovakia would be able to purchase Russian oil until the end of 2023, so for a while both countries would be exempted from the oil embargo. However, in his video, Szijjártó said that

“even with the extended deadline, the Hungarian government will not accept the sanctions”

He continued to say that “this is not due to a lack of political will or intent, and it’s also not a matter of duration, but is quite simply a physical, geographical and infrastructural reality” – he said. Szijjártó further explained that Hungary is able to buy enough oil from Russia, and can do so via the already existing pipelines, adding that at this point, from a technological perspective, the country is only able to process Russian oil.

He said that in its current form, the Hungarian government is not able to support this new sanction package, adding that in order for Hungary to be able to support these measures, oil transported through pipelines should be exempt from the embargo.

The EU member states are discussing the sanctions on Wednesday. For the package to be accepted, 27 member states must unanimously vote in favor of it. Slovakia has already signalled that they are requesting exemption.

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