The EU remains a “hostage” of Hungary and fails to impose sanctions on Russian oil


The foreign minister has yet to arrive at a solution with neither much time nor more financial support to avoid Orban’s veto.

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Ukrainian citizens demand sanctions on Russian oil in BrusselsStephanie LecockEFE
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“Unfortunately, the entire Union is a hostage to one member state.” It can be explained in many ways, it can be defined in more or less diplomatic terms, but it is impossible to describe it in more direct terms than the Lithuanian minister. Gabriel Landsbergis Most of the spirit of 27. sixth package of sanctions against russia By invasion of ukraine It has been immobile for two weeks trapped, trapped, blocked, restricted or hijacked by Hungara. And as time passes, understanding, nuance, gives way to anger.

This Monday, EU foreign ministers met again in Brussels to discuss, among other issues, a possible embargo on Russian oil purchases, but, as the High Representative agreed. josep borrell On the eve, “the situation is very strong” and there are many protests. Hungary (such as Slovakia and to a lesser extent the Czech Republic) has been offered most of the time until 2024 to cut imports of Russian crude, but does not want to. There are logistical and economic reasons, as their reliance on hydrocarbons is real and the time required to optimize or build refineries is no less. But the problem is above all political. Viktor Orban has spent years trying to get around sanctions, communication, withdrawing or easing a difficult situation, and it’s not just for money or stability.

In theory the package was not formally on the agenda, as discussions at the ambassadorial level were far from advanced, but it was impossible not to address the elephant in the room. Especially when the Foreign Minister of Ukraine, Dimitro Kulebawas present in the room, once again, asking his neighbors for perseverance, arms and courage.

The Baltics and Poland are pressuring Budapest in terms of time or money, or to find a way to separate Ukraine from Russia so that there are no cuts to the gas pipelines coming from its territory. There is something to work on, but they find excuses and deliberately delay. He assured, “It is not a problem of time, it is to find housing for those who have difficulty in dependence. What is clear is that Putin cannot finance the war with our money and we will find a way.” Will take.” Jose Manuel Albares For questions from this newspaper at the end of the meeting.

Chairman of the Commission, Ursula von der Leyen He made a sudden trip to Budapest last week but returned empty-handed, and the teleconferences of the most affected leaders, who agreed to find a way, have also not been called. “I don’t understand what you mean, it is a lie to decide that we are taking the EU hostage,” the Magyar minister defended himself, pter sizzertWhich a few days ago estimated the infrastructure cost needed to reduce dependence on Russian gas at around 1,000 million and nearly 18 times to turn its reliance on fossil fuels into a green transition.

At the end of the month, on the 30th and 31st, the Heads of State and Government will meet in Brussels for an Extraordinary European Council. Many believe that until then, at least, there will be no unlocks. Orban wants commitments that are above the level of ambassadors and ministers. no more hurry, Urgency works in your favor even when the bomb goes down in this negotiation. “No progress has been made. There is significant support but we still have to keep working (…) I’m not afraid because the reluctance is presented in a constructive way, explaining their problems. The feeling is constructive,” Albers has tried to degrade.

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