The foreign minister said energy supplies are not affected by the latest round of EU sanctions against Russia, and Hungary’s energy supply is still secure. “We have managed to ensure that the nuclear industry, natural gas, oil and coal are totally exempted from the latest round of sanctions,” Péter Szijjártó said in a video on Facebook on Tuesday, adding that no obstacles were in the way of the maintenance of the Paks nuclear power plant, its fuel supply, or its expansion.
Minister Szijjártó added that mineral imports such as manganese ore relied on by certain Hungarian industries would also be exempted. Further, an oil field in Russia operated by Hungarian oil and gas company MOL in a joint venture with a Turkish energy company would be unaffected, he said. The minister said that in the course of debates in Brussels on new sanctions against Russia, the thorniest concerned how new sanctions would affect the Russian energy sector and energy supplies to Europe. “We made the Hungarian position clear from the start: we won’t allow the Hungarian people to pay the price of the war or allow the security of Hungary’s energy supply to be jeapordised,” he said. The minister said that whereas Hungary regarded as important to maintain European unity, “we have a red line, namely the security of Hungary’s energy supply”. Minister Szijjártó said that if Russian gas supplies were shut down, “as some Hungarian leftists have called for”, Hungarian homes would be left without heating and industry would be hamstrung. Further, without Russian oil supplies, fuel supplies would be disrupted, while without coal imports, the operations of iron and steel plants would be severely curtailed, he added.
Outlining the EU’s sixth sanctions package, he said additional Russian business leaders would be sanctioned, trade in luxury goods between EU member states and Russia banned, and regulations on financial transactions and exports of dual-use items tightened. Imports of some processed iron and steel products from Russia will be banned, and exports of certain European technologies for use in Russia’s energy sector will be restricted, he added.
Photo credit: Facebook/Szijjártó Péter