Belgium, (Brussels Morning Newspaper) Hungary opposes the EU embargo on Russian oil, risking further isolation in the bloc.
EU member states are still discussing the details of the plan to sanction Russia’s oil industry, with Hungary stressing it would not support any move that would make it impossible for the country to import oil from Russia, DW reports.
Hungarian Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Péter Szijjártó stressed on Wednesday that Budapest could only support the proposed embargo if the import of Russian crude oil via pipeline was exempt.
He warned that Hungary’s energy security would be at risk if the landlocked country was unable to import energy from Russia. Hungary covers roughly 58% of its oil needs with Russian imports.
The announcement further increases friction between Budapest and Brussels, which is high due to disagreements over the rule of law, democratic standards, and freedom of the press, among others.
Péter Krekó, head of the Political Capital Institute, pointed out that “the Hungarian government has made itself very clear,” but added, “it’s not completely out of the question that the government may still modify of changing its stance, but it is very clear about its veto position.”
He reminded that the European Commission started a process against Hungary last week over their dispute on the rule of law, predicting that the move plays “a role in the decision not to go along with the sanctions.”
Poor relations with EC
Commenting on the relationship between Budapest and Brussels, Krekó described it as “thoroughly poisonous.”
In his opinion, “Hungarian foreign policy seems to be determined only by defiance and irrationality, and is moving in a downward spiral.”
Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán has come under criticism for his position on the conflict in Ukraine, with Ukrainian National Security and Defence Council head Oleksiy Danilov accusing him recently of planning to annex a part of Ukraine.
The Hungarian government rejected the accusations as “fake news” and “lies.”
Krekó pointed out that Danilov’s accusations were “groundless and irresponsible so long as no evidence is presented,” noting that Hungary has not deployed troops or sent weapons to Ukraine.
He concluded that there are no apparent signs Hungary was planning to annex a part of Ukraine.