Hungary said its energy supply is not an “ideological question” after it declined to support potential penalties on Russian oil
FILE PHOTO: A pumpjack extracts crude oil at an oil field in Emlichheim, Germany. © AP / Martin Meissner
Hungary’s top diplomat said his country would not support new economic sanctions on Russian energy firms, arguing the move could backfire, and warned that no-fly zone proposals for Ukraine risk sparking off a larger regional conflict.
Speaking to reporters following a meeting with fellow European Union members in Brussels on Monday, Hungary’s foreign minister, Peter Szijjarto, said Budapest is unlikely to back penalties targeting Russian gas and oil, as they are liable to harm its own interests.
“An agreement on possible EU sanctions against Russian energy supplies or their interruption will most likely not be reached,” he said, adding that “We will not support any sanctions that could pose a risk to energy supplies to Hungary.”
The FM’s comments follow reports that the EU would meet to consider an all-out embargo on Russian energy, though the body was “split” on the issue after Monday’s summit, according to Reuters.
While Irish Foreign Minister Simon Coveney argued that it’s “very hard to make the case that we shouldn’t be moving in on [Russia’s] energy sector” given “the extent of the destruction in Ukraine,” he faced pushback from not only Hungary, but Germany and the Netherlands as well.