Hungary awaits explanation on Druzhba pipeline future
Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto demands an explanation from Ukraine and the EU Chief Ursula von der Leyen following a number of media reports hinting at 11th sanctions package targeting the Druzhba pipelines.
Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto announced that Hungary is awaiting clarifications from Ukraine and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen over allegations of a possible halt in oil shipments from Russia to the EU via the Druzhba pipeline.
Von der Leyen, according to media reports from last week, had suggested to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to suspend the Druzhba pipeline as part of the anticipated 11th package of anti-Russia sanctions.
Similarly, the Financial Times reported that the EU considered furthering anti-Russian oil sanctions through the suspension of the Druzhba pipeline. However, the Financial Times had refused to provide any comments on the topic.
It is worth noting that the Druzhba pipeline network began in the 1960s and pumps oil from the Urals to Europe through a northern branch via Poland and a southern branch via Ukraine. It is the world's longest oil pipeline and one of the biggest oil pipeline networks in the world. It carries oil some 4,000 kilometers from the eastern part of European Russia to points in Ukraine, Belarus, Poland, Hungary, Slovakia, the Czech Republic, Austria, and Germany, but mainly supplies the Schwedt and Leuna refineries in Germany.
In turn, Szijjarto told Hungarian radio station Kossuth, "We have received no explanations concerning this from Kiev. I think this is an issue of such importance that the European Commission's president should personally present explanations as energy security is a question of sovereignty."
A country's sovereignty may be considered violated when an entity tries to make it impossibly difficult for this country to obtain a reliable energy source, said the Hungarian FM.
Moreover, the FM asserted that transit oil supplies from Ukraine have been guaranteed by international treaties and accused Croatia and Ukraine of using the war as an excuse to multiply transit charges by five to six times.
It is worth reminding that on May 26, 2022, Adviser to the Ukrainian Minister of Energy Lana Zerkal warned, that Kiev may decide to do something about the Hungarian Druzhba oil pipeline that passes through Ukrainian territory. At the time Zerkal threatened as Budapest had been unwilling to abandon Russian oil.
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