An EU oil embargo against Russia will probably only be a wish of many Ukrainians for the foreseeable future. In the European Union, one member state in particular is standing in the way of this project.
According to Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban, a quick EU agreement on an oil embargo against Russia is not in sight.
Since the outstanding issues are serious, it is very unlikely that a comprehensive solution can be found before the special EU summit next week, writes Orban in a letter to EU Council President Charles Michel.
At the same time, in the letter from Monday, which is available to the German Press Agency, the right-wing national politician advocates not discussing the sanctions package proposed by the EU Commission at the summit. This is counterproductive and would only reveal internal divisions without there being a realistic chance of resolving the differences. An EU official confirmed receipt of the letter on Tuesday.
Orban also confirmed that Hungary is still heavily dependent on Russian energy imports. Neither Hungarian households nor the Hungarian economy could withstand the price shock that the proposed sanctions would cause. He also points out that the most recent proposals by the EU Commission to relieve states that are particularly dependent on Russian energy have not allayed Hungarian concerns.
Orban could not change his mind about the offer of improvement
EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen does not expect an EU agreement on an oil embargo at the summit next week. “I think it’s not a suitable topic for the European Council because what we’re discussing here is very technical,” she told the Politico news portal on Tuesday.
At the beginning of March, the EU Commission originally proposed ending imports of Russian crude oil in six months and oil products in eight months because of the Ukraine war. Hungary and Slovakia should be given 20 months. So far, even offers of improvement have not been able to persuade the Hungarian government to give up its rejection. Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto made it clear that his country wants either a complete exception for oil deliveries via pipelines or payment of 15 billion euros from EU funds for adjustment and follow-up costs.