FT reported Orban’s unwillingness to support sanctions against Russia

Hungarian Prime Minister Orban said sanctions against Russian oil would require his country to “majorly modernize alternative infrastructure”

Viktor Orban

Hungary and the European Union as a whole are not ready to accept the sanctions proposed by the European Commission against Russian energy carriers “in their current format.” This is reported by the Financial Times with reference to a document sent by Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban to the head of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen.

“Neither Hungary nor the EU as a whole is ready to accept and implement the measures proposed by the European Commission. Sanctions must be adopted at a time when all the necessary preconditions have been met in all member countries,— said in the document.

Orban added that the steps in question would require his country to “majorly upgrade alternative supply infrastructure and completely reorganize our refinery capacity.” At the same time, the sanctions already adopted, according to him, “diverted necessary national resources to excessive investments in fossil fuels”, while the corresponding funding from Brussels is available to Budapest “only on paper”.

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Earlier, on May 5, Hungary's unwillingness to support EU sanctions against Russian oil was also announced by Foreign Minister Peter Szijjártó. “Hungary will not vote for a new package of EU sanctions in its current form,” — the minister said, specifying that the country would like the ban not to apply to the import of crude oil through pipelines.

The head of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, announced plans on May 4 to ban the import of all Russian oil— both raw and refined. The EU, according to her, intends to refuse the supply of Russian crude oil within six months, and the import of refined products— by the end of 2022. This measure will be part of the new, sixth package of sanctions against Russia, which must be approved by the EU Council.

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The ban on the supply of Russian oil to the EU has caused lengthy discussions, as some countries, in particular Germany, Austria, Slovakia and Hungary, have declared their dependence on Russian energy resources and the impossibility of quickly abandoning them. In early May, Germany said it was ready to support the ban. Following her, as reported by the ZDF TV channel, Austria, Hungary and Slovakia withdrew the veto on the embargo.

The official representative of the Hungarian Foreign Ministry Tamas Menzer said earlier that 85% of all gas consumed in Hungary and 65% of oil are supplied from Russia and this “cannot be replaced overnight.”

Against the backdrop of sanctions and an upcoming ban by the European Union, Russian President Vladimir Putin instructed to speed up work on creating infrastructure to redirect oil and gas exports from the West to other “promising markets— to the South and East. Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak said earlier that the share of Russian energy exports to world markets is 20%. According to him, in the event of a ban on Russian hydrocarbons, oil prices will jump to $ 300 & ndash; 500 per barrel, so Europe's refusal of energy from Russia is unlikely.

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