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Orban says EU summit shouldn’t focus on Russian oil embargo

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Hungary is just not ready to comply with the proposed EU sanctions till all excellent points resolved, Prime Minister Viktor Orban says in a letter to Charles Michel.

The European Union’s proposed new sanctions in opposition to Russia, together with an oil embargo, shouldn’t be mentioned at subsequent week’s summit of the bloc’s leaders, Prime Minister Viktor Orban has mentioned in a letter to the pinnacle of the European Council.

Hungary is “unlikely” to drop its opposition to an embargo earlier than the summit and was not ready to comply with the proposed EU sanctions till all excellent points are resolved, Orban wrote to the President of the European Council Charles Michel on May 23.

The European Commission this month proposed new sanctions in opposition to Russia, however the package deal required the unanimous help of all 27 EU member states and Hungary blocked them.

Orban reiterated his stance that “solutions must come before sanctions”.

“Looking at the gravity of the issues still open, it is very unlikely that a comprehensive solution could be found before the special meeting of the European Council on 30-31 May,” Orban wrote within the letter obtained by information companies on Tuesday.

“I am convinced that discussing the sanctions package at the level of leaders in the absence of a consensus would be counterproductive,” learn the letter. It would solely spotlight the inner divisions with out providing a practical likelihood of resolving them, he added.

Earlier on Tuesday, European Commission chief Ursula von der Leyen informed CNBC she hoped to safe the oil embargo inside “days”.

“What we are looking at is one or two member states that are landlocked, so cannot have oil via the sea and need alternatives in pipelines and in refineries, and there we are trying to find solutions,” she mentioned.

Hungary calls for

Orban, typically the odd man out in EU decision-making, has rocked the bloc’s unity on the battle in Ukraine, opposing an embargo on Russian oil.

The Hungarian prime minister has reluctantly supported earlier EU sanctions on Moscow, together with an embargo on Russian coal. But he has argued that such strikes damage the bloc greater than they do Russia.

Since taking energy in 2010, Orban has deepened Hungary’s dependency on Russian vitality and says its geography and vitality infrastructure make a shutdown of Russian oil inconceivable as it could have a devastating influence on the nation’s financial system.

Budapest has demanded an exemption from the embargo for at the least 4 years and needs 800 million euros ($860m) in EU funds to re-tool a refinery and enhance the capability of a pipeline to Croatia.

The EU has supplied Hungary, together with close by Slovakia and Czech Republic, prolonged exemptions from imposing the embargo and has been locked in talks with Budapest to resolve the standoff.

France’s new overseas minister mentioned she was optimistic that these nonetheless against an embargo on Russian oil imports may very well be satisfied and that the bloc would reach a deal.

“We must adopt, as quickly as possible, the sixth package of sanctions that foresees the progressive end of the imports of Russian oil and to lift the remaining reticence,” Catherine Colonna informed a information convention alongside her German counterpart Annalena Baerbock in Berlin.

“We hope do it quickly and I’m optimistic.”

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