Hungary and Slovakia Cannot Back EU Sanctions on Russia Energy


Hungary and Slovakia said they can not take part in sanctions on Russian energy that the European Union may execute. Conversations on possible energy sanctions are set up to begin on May 4. The European Commission, the EU’s executive branch, has a draft proposition that consists of a gradually broadening embargo on Russian oil.

While the EU released a variety of financial sanctions following Russia’s intrusion of Ukraine, severing ties to the area’s major oil provider has been challenging.

Some countries are worried that they could not abide by the energy sanctions without risking the well-being of their individuals and economies.

Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto said during a public declaration on May 3 that his country could not support sanctions that would “make the transportation of natural gas or oil from Russia to Hungary impossible.”

“The point is simple, that Hungary’s energy supply cannot be endangered because no one can expect us to allow the price of the war (in Ukraine) to be paid by Hungarians,” said Szijjarto while speaking in Kazakhstan. “It is currently physically impossible for Hungary and its economy to function without Russian oil.”

According to Reuters,

“The European Commission’s intention “that there should be some kind of common response from countries importing Russian gas” was not considered necessary, Hungary’s Szijjarto said, adding that nations had individually signed bilateral contracts.

“And … no one has a say in how we modify our own contract.”

Under President Viktor Orban, Hungary has actually increased its imports of natural gas and oil from Russia. Orban has been noted for his friendly relationship with the Kremlin.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, “Hungary became the first EU nation to buy a Russian-made Covid vaccine — even though it wasn’t approved by European regulators,” reports CNBC.

Slovakian authorities expressed issues comparable to those of Hungary, keeping in mind that Sovnaft, its only oil refinery, was currently depending on crude oil from Russia. The nation gets petroleum through the Druzhba pipeline which supplies nearly all of Slovakia’s crude oil.

According to the Slovak Viewer, 62% of the nation’s people oppose disconnecting their nation from Russian energy if it would trigger a boost in fuel costs. Around 25% would want to make the change — even if fuel rates increase– over the next few years.

Richard Sulik, the Economic Minister for Slokavia, told press reporters that it would take years to alter the refiner’s technology and therefore “we will insist on the exemption, for sure.”

Russia announced recently that it was immediately ending the distribution of oil to Poland and Bulgaria. Gazprom, the state-owned oil business, stated the two nations had actually stopped working to acquire their fuel with rubles. The Kremlin announced its energy might just be acquired with Russia’s nationwide currency following a wave of EU sanctions earlier this year.

The following day, Germany announced it was prepared to end its usage of Russian energy. This statement from the EU’s largest economy made it possible for the bloc to discuss energy sanctions.

The EU could use Slovakia and Hungary exemptions to the sanctions or possibly a “long transition period” according to comments made by the Commission and reported by Reuters.

U.S. President Joe Biden prohibited imports of Russian oil, liquified natural gas, and coal on March 8– less than 2 weeks into the conflict in between Russia and Ukraine.

H/T Timcast

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