Hungary sticks its stand on energy investment before banning Russian oil

Hungary stuck to its demands for energy investment before it agrees to a Russian oil embargo, clashing with European Union states pushing for swift approval of more sanctions against Moscow for invading Ukraine.

The EU executive European Commission early this month proposed new sanctions but Hungary’s opposition has so far barred the unanimity of all the 27 member countries needed to approve them.

Hungary’s Justice Minister Judit Varga ahead of talks in Brussels on Monday about what would be the sixth package of EU sanctions on Russia, asserted his country’s stand saying, solutions first, sanctions afterwards.

Hungary, which is heavily dependent on Russian oil, has said it would need about 750 million euros ($800 million) in short-term investments to upgrade refineries and expand a pipeline bringing oil from Croatia.

It also said the longer-term conversion of its economy away from Russian oil could cost as much as 18 billion euros.

The Commission last week offered up to 2 billion euros in support to countries that are land-locked and reliant on Russian supply – Hungary, the Czech Republic and Slovakia. They have also been offered a longer transition period.

Tags: Energy Investment, Hungary, Oil, Russian Oil, Ukraine Invasion