EU divisions grow as Hungary PM opposes ban on Russian oil

TEHRAN, May 25 (MNA) – Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban ruled out discussing the EU’s proposed oil ban on Russia at next week’s summit of the bloc’s leaders, in a stance that could derail the EU's bid to win approval for the sanctions package.

In a letter to the head of the European Council, Charles Michel on Tuesday, Orban said his country is unlikely to drop its opposition to the EU's new sanctions package, which includes an embargo on oil imports, until all outstanding issues are resolved, Press TV website reported.

The EU needs unanimous agreement from its 27 members to push through each set of sanctions.

“Looking at the gravity of the issues still open, it is very unlikely that a comprehensive solution could be found before the special meeting of the European Council on 30-31 May,” Orban wrote.

“I am convinced that discussing the sanctions package at the level of leaders in the absence of a consensus would be counterproductive,” he said, adding that it would only highlight the internal divisions without offering a realistic chance of resolving them.

Orban also warned that the EU proposed sanctions package would cause “serious supply problems” in Hungary and undermine its energy security interests, delivering a “price shock” to the country’s households and economy.

He went on to say that the current proposal failed to address Hungary’s concerns because there “are no [funding] envelopes for the most concerned landlocked member states,” stressing that he remains open to discussions on the ban “with a pragmatic and result-oriented approach.”

The European Commission proposed a ban on crude imports from Russia in early May as part of a raft of new sanctions to punish Moscow over the military campaign in Ukraine.

The EU, however, has so far failed to reach an agreement on the proposal, as Hungary continues to stand firm against the proposal.

Hungary has argued the ban, which could last for years, would “completely destroy” its energy supply security.


News Code 187200


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