Hungary clings to Moscow's black gold

Two and a half months after the start of the war in Ukraine, Brussels is increasing the pressure on the Kremlin, already targeted by five packages of continental sanctions since the start of the conflict. On Wednesday May 4 in Strasbourg, the President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, proposed new retaliatory measures, including the cessation of Russian oil deliveries to Europe by the end of 2022. Dependent at 65% on Russian crude, Hungary rejected this project, which requires the unanimous agreement of the twenty-seven member countries of the EU.

Visiting Kazakhstan on May 3, the Minister of Foreign Affairs justified Budapest’s position: “We will not approve sanctions that would make it impossible to supply Hungary with oil or gas. This is not a political decision but a real question of supply, because our economy cannot currently function without Russian oil”said Péter Szijjártó, quoted by the independent information site Index.

“No alternative”

In the conservative daily Magyar Nemzet, a specialist in energy and climate policy assures that Hungary “has no short-term alternative to Russian oil” and that a transition over several years “would seriously affect the economy and the population”. According to this expert, an embargo “would favor” even the Rus

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