The foreign minister has said that Hungary cannot responsibly support the European Commission's latest package of sanctions against Russia in its current form, arguing that the sanctions would destroy Hungary's energy security.
Speaking from Uzbekistan, Péter Szijjártó said the latest sanctions package would “involve a ban on crude oil shipments from Russia to Europe with rather short notice, which in Hungary’s case would apply from the end of next year”. Hungary’s energy supply is currently secure and on a stable foundation, but this package “would destroy that completely”, making it impossible for Hungary to procure the amount of oil necessary to keep the economy running, he said. “This is not a matter of a lack of political will, not a matter of intent, of duration, but simply physical, geographical and infrastructural reality,” Minister Szijjártó said. It is from Russia that Hungary can buy the necessary amount of oil via the existing pipelines, and even from a technological standpoint, only Russian oil can be refined in the country, he said. The Hungarian government cannot responsibly vote for the latest sanctions package in its current form, Minister Szijjártó said. In order for Hungary to support the measures, oil shipments via pipeline would have to be exempted from the embargo, he added.
Photo credit: Facebook/Szijjártó Péter