Hungary says Russia oil ban lacks ‘guarantee’ for energy security

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Budapest – Hungary on Wednesday said it saw no guarantee for its energy security in a proposed EU ban on Russian oil.

“We don’t see any plan or guarantee on how even a transition could be managed on the basis of the current proposals, and what would guarantee Hungary’s energy security,” the Hungarian government’s press office said in a statement sent to AFP.

Asked if this meant Hungary outrightly rejected the EU’s proposal, the press office did not immediately answer.

In a document seen by AFP, European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen’s proposal asked that Hungary and Slovakia, both hugely dependent on Russian oil, be given more time to meet the ban.

Ambassadors from the 27 European Union countries will meet on Wednesday to assess her plan, and it will need unanimous approval before going into effect.

Hungary has so far ruled out supporting any import ban with Prime Minister Viktor Orban — who has cultivated close ties with Russian President Vladimir Putin in recent years – citing the central European country’s dependency on Russian gas and oil.

Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto reiterated on Tuesday that “currently it is physically impossible to operate Hungary or the Hungarian economy without Russian oil.”

According to government spokesman Zoltan Kovacs, 65 percent of Hungary’s oil and 85 percent of its gas supplies come from Russia.

AFP

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