EU failed convincing Hungary to sanction Russian oil
Banning Russian oil, according to Budapest, is akin to an A-bomb.
Ursula von der Leyen, the President of the European Commission, has been "unsuccessful" in persuading Hungary to join the EU embargo on Russian oil in their latest sanctions, according to the EU to Sputnik.
On Monday, von der Leyen traveled to Budapest to discuss Russian oil embargo, meeting with Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban.
According to Peter Szijjarto, the Hungarian FM, von der Leyen could not convince Budapest that it could safely join sanctions without putting the country's energy security at risk. The Foreign Minister stressed that Hungary will insist on exempting pipeline oil imports from the sanctions.
Read more: EU's Russia oil ban proposal crosses "red line": Hungary PM
According to the source, "COREPER [Committee of Permanent EU Representatives] to discuss sanctions today, there is nothing so far from Hungary as the trip of von der Leyen turns out to be unsuccessful. Von der Leyen did not made the videocall she suggested in her tweet yet as the debate on technical details is ongoing with Hungary, as the commission is trying to convince Hungary to the oil ban with the combination of arguments, which include an extended period of time to phase out Russian oil and increased EU funding support for this period of time."
The commission refuses to accept Budapest's proposal for two reasons, and they have nothing to do with breaching EU unity, according to the source.
The EU fears that Hungary would become a hub for import and indirect distribution of Russian oil in Europe, while also expressing unwillingness to make exemptions as the discussion is up to ban Russian gas, while also avoiding the creation of a precedent for future exemptions.
"It is more likely [for the] EU to reach an agreement in the upcoming EU Foreign Affairs Council, not today, on the 6th sanctions package," the source added.
Von der Leyen, last week, put forward a proposal for the sixth package of sanctions against Russia, suggesting a ban on Russian oil imports. In order to come into effect, the package needs approval by member states. Hungary and Slovakia have objected to it.
Orban said that the EU proposal for an embargo on Russian energy resources is "tantamount to atomic bomb" for the Hungarian economy, which will need at least five years to diversify its energy supply - under the EU's proposal, they only have till 2023. Hungary and Slovakia are both dependent on Russian oil.