Prime minister Viktor Orbán – Photo: PMO

Orbán: Hungary to back embargo if it excludes pipelined Russian oil, contains guarantees

Arriving in Brussels for a two-day summit on Monday, Viktor Orbán said Hungary could back an EU embargo on Russian oil if it left out oil delivered through pipelines. The prime minister told journalists that Hungary would find such a solution acceptable since this would not involve "dropping a nuclear bomb" on the country's economy.

Orbán also alluded to a recent veiled threat that “something may happen” to the pipeline transporting Russian oil, saying Hungary wanted an outcome from the summit that would leave it the right to procure Russian oil by sea in such an event.

“This is the guarantee we need. If I obtain such a guarantee we’re asking for today, then we’re safe,” the prime minister said.

Responding to a question, Orbán said Hungary was prepared to back the EU’s sixth sanctions package if a guarantee were made regarding the security of Hungary’s energy supply. He added that the current tabled solution was “bad”, adding that solutions should be arrived at before sanctions are agreed.

He said western European oil companies were generally the ones making profits out of EU sanctions and hence were the “biggest winners” of the EU’s sanctions policy.

The prime minister added that since Hungary must make costly investments such as building pipelines and upgrading oil refineries, the country would not reap any “extra profit”. He added that the product would end up costing Hungarians more than the current one. “We won’t let this happen,” he added.

Leave a Reply