Hungary’s Prime Minister Orban gambled “nefariously” for his interests, says the Minister of Economic Affairs. Europe’s determination suffered from the “choke” surrounding the new sanctions package against Russia.

Federal Minister of Economics Robert Habeck (Greens) criticized Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban after the compromise in the EU on an oil embargo against Russia.

He was not happy with the compromise, said Habeck at the “Business Day” of the CDU Economic Council. Orban gambled “ruthlessly” for his own interests. The European strength and determination of Europe have suffered from the “choke” around the sixth sanctions package.

“Perhaps we live in a time when too many compromises not only cloud clarity in the end, but destroy it,” said Habeck. Russian President Vladimir Putin will not stop attacking Ukraine unless he is defeated in Ukraine. But Orban had opened a “bargain” and no longer made politics in a higher interest.

Habeck challenges the principle of unanimity at EU level

When asked about this, Habeck also called for the unanimity principle to be abolished at EU level. The problem, however, is that in order to overcome unanimity towards a qualified majority, this must be decided unanimously. However, if one understands the concept of the “turning point” in its deep meaning, then Europe must become capable of acting.

Against the background of the Russian war of aggression against Ukraine, the EU had long discussed an oil embargo. However, Hungary in particular pointed to its great dependence on Russian oil and blocked an agreement.

As EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen announced after consultations with the EU heads of state and government in Brussels, at Hungary’s insistence only Russian oil deliveries by sea are to be stopped for the time being. Pipeline transports will continue to be possible for the time being.

Germany does not want to use the embargo exception

A spokeswoman for the Federal Ministry of Economics said that Germany and Poland had already declared that they would not use the exceptions and that they intend to stop Russian imports via pipelines by the end of the year. “In the course of the technical implementation of the sanctions decision, it is now necessary to work out how this will be implemented for Germany. This is particularly urgent for the Schwedt refinery with its Russian majority owner.”

Especially for the prospects there, it is important that there is quick clarity about the question of how to proceed. “We’re also doing everything we can to ensure security of supply.”