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Hungary to veto European ban on Russian oil

May 7th, 2022

As PM Viktor Orbán tells Ursula von der Leyen, the President of the European Commission, that Hungary cannot accept ‘in its current form’ the Commission’s proposal to impose a ban on oil imports from Russia, the main government daily calls the Commission irresponsible.

On Wednesday, Ursula von der Leyen announced that the Commission proposes to phase out oil imports from Russia by the end of the year, whereupon Prime Minister Viktor Orbán sent her a letter on Thursday explaining that the sanctions would ‘divert vital national resources to redundant fossil fuel investments while relevant funding from the EU is only available to us on paper’. (For further details, see BudaPost, May 6.)

In a second angry commentary in as many days on the planned ban on Russian oil imports, Magyar Nemzet believes the European Union is destroying itself. The author, Zsolt Bayer, a founding Fidesz member known for his highly opinionated columns, tells European decision-makers that the United States has advised them not to impose an embargo on Russian oil supplies, as the ensuing increase in oil prices would compensate Russia for the loss – and harm the rest of the world. In an aside, he also remarks that the United States doesn’t oppose a ban on Russian gas supplies, as higher gas prices would help sell expensive American shale gas worldwide. In a bitter sentence, Bayer accuses the leaders of the EU of intending to ‘free Europe from Russian energy dependency by destroying Europe itself’’. At the same time, he adds, the Commission is demanding huge material sacrifices from Hungary, whilst withholding EU funds from her.


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