The European Union has proposed a six-month phase-out of imports of Russian crude
The European Union has so far failed to present Hungary with firm guarantees of its energy security as part of an effort to phase out imports of Russian oil, the Hungarian government said on Wednesday. The comment came ahead of a meeting of EU envoys over the decision.
The Hungarian government’s press office told the AFP news agency that it had no “see any plans or guarantees on how even a transition could be handled based on the current proposals, and what would ensure Hungary’s energy security.”
According to AFP, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen suggested that Hungary and Slovakia, two countries heavily dependent on Russian oil, be given an additional transition period to ensure less painful implementation. of the ban.
The phasing out of Russian oil had been touted as one of the components of the EU’s sixth round of sanctions against Moscow, which representatives of the 27 EU member states discussed on Wednesday. For the new sanctions to come into force, the package must be supported unanimously.
Hungary has previously spoken out against plans to ban Russian oil imports, with the country’s Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto stressing on Tuesday that “currently, it is physically impossible to run Hungary or the Hungarian economy without Russian oil.According to Budapest, it receives up to 65% of its oil from Russia.
Slovakia, while actively supporting Ukraine, including with arms deliveries, also opposed Brussels’ plan. The country’s economy minister, Richard Sulik, told reporters on Tuesday that Slovakia’s sole refiner, Slovnaft, could not replace Russian oil with an alternative overnight, adding that the change in technology would take several years. . The manager confirmed that Bratislava was going to “insist on exemption.”
Both countries receive Russian oil through the Soviet-era Druzhba pipeline.
On Monday, Reuters, citing unnamed European officials, reported that the European Commission intended to have the ban in place by early next year one way or another. Russia exports almost half of its crude oil and petroleum products to Europe, which represents a considerable source of its income.