With a view to reaching an agreement on the embargo of the European Union on Russian oil as soon as possible, Emmanuel Macron discussed this Tuesday with his Hungarian counterpart Viktor Orban. The sanctions, which require the unanimity of the 27 member states, are currently rejected by Hungary, dependent on Russian hydrocarbons.
French President Emmanuel Macron held talks with Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban on Tuesday, with the aim of reaching an agreement as soon as possible on the proposed European embargo on Russian oil, currently blocked by Budapest, the government announced. Hungarian. “The two leaders discussed energy security issues,” said Viktor Orban’s spokesman, Bertalan Havasi, quoted by the MTI news agency. The head of the Hungarian government had already spoken on Monday with the president of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen, who came specially to Budapest. She had reported “progress” after their working dinner.
These talks aimed to “finalize, in a spirit of solidarity, the guarantees (…) necessary for the conditions of oil supply” of certain Member States, explained the Elysée. “Contacts at all levels are continuing with the aim of reaching a full agreement on this sixth package as quickly as possible,” according to the same source. France holds the rotating presidency of the EU Council until the end of the first semester. The proposal submitted last Wednesday by Brussels to the Twenty-Seven provides for a cessation of imports of Russian crude oil within six months and of refined products, in particular diesel, by the end of 2022.
Hungary dependent on Russian hydrocarbons
A landlocked country dependent on its purchases of hydrocarbons from Russia, Hungary was granted a derogation, but it was deemed insufficient. Believing that Brussels had crossed “a red line”, the nationalist Prime Minister rejects the current version of sanctions, which requires the unanimity of the 27 Member States of the EU.
The objective is to arrive at “a set of solutions enabling Hungary to overcome its dependence”, Commission spokesman Eric Mamer explained on Tuesday during a press briefing in Brussels, welcoming “the discussion constructive” of the day before between Ursula von der Leyen and Viktor Orban. “On this basis, our teams will continue their technical work,” he added, without giving a deadline. Slovakia, the Czech Republic and Bulgaria are also calling for exemptions.