Viktor Orbán refuses to discuss Russia oil embargo at EU summit


Viktor Orbán has dominated out discussing the EU’s proposed oil embargo of Russia at subsequent week’s summit of leaders, in a contemporary blow to the union’s efforts to win backing for its landmark sanctions package deal.

Hungary’s prime minister has written to the European Council’s president, Charles Michel, saying his nation couldn’t help the sanctions with out extra element on the EU financing accessible to assist Budapest wean itself off Russian oil.

Orbán’s refusal to debate the package deal leaves Brussels’ plans to finish the bloc’s dependence on Russian oil hanging by a thread.

“Discussing the sanctions package deal on the degree of leaders within the absence of a consensus could be counterproductive,” Orbán wrote within the letter, seen by the Monetary Occasions. “It will solely spotlight our inside divisions with out providing a sensible probability to resolve variations. Due to this fact, I suggest to not handle this problem on the subsequent European Council.”

The European Fee has spent most of Could in search of to win member states over to its sixth package deal of sanctions, which would come with a phased-in embargo on Russian oil. However it has struggled to convince Hungary to help the package deal, in addition to different landlocked states which are closely depending on Russian oil equivalent to Slovakia and the Czech Republic.

Final week the fee introduced a €210bn plan dubbed REPowerEU, which units out proposals for ditching Russian fossil fuels by 2027. Whereas there have been encouraging indicators within the plan, Orbán wrote in his letter, he stated it failed to deal with Hungary’s issues as a result of there “aren’t any [funding] envelopes for probably the most involved landlocked member states”. 

He added: “There isn’t any indication on the modalities and the timing of the financing for the pressing funding wants associated to changing Russian oil.” In his letter Orbán warned that the proposed sanctions would trigger “critical provide issues” in Hungary and undermine its very important vitality safety pursuits, delivering a “value shock” to the nation’s households and economic system.

Orbán stated Hungary wanted cash to adapt its refineries to non-Russian oil and construct new pipelines to carry different provides to the nation.

Brussels has earmarked €2bn for central European nations to spend money on new infrastructure however it determined to channel it via the Restoration and Resilience Facility (RRF). Hungary has not but clinched a take care of the fee over its bid for its share of the RRF due to EU issues about breaches of the rule of regulation.

Orbán’s letter raises “critical issues” as a result of “nations with out adopted restoration and resilience plans can not profit” from the majority of the REPowerEU undertaking within the quick time period. Nonetheless, he additionally emphasises that he’ll proceed discussions “with a practical and result-oriented strategy”.

Orban’s spokesman didn’t instantly reply to a request in search of remark.

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