Hungary’s EC oil embargo proposal is “unacceptable,” officials say

The European Commission’s proposal to phase out Russia’s oil embargo is “unacceptable” to Hungary, Secretary of State Zoltan Kovách of International Communications and Relations told the BBC.

Asked if Hungary would reject the proposal in an episode of the BBC’s Hardtalk aired Thursday, Kovacs said: “Immediately, yes.”

He said:

Hungary currently obtains 65% of its crude oil from Russia, adding that landlocked countries rely on pipelines for delivery.

He said the Hungarian oil industry would need to invest about € 500 million in three to four years to adapt to changing oil supplies.

Kovács emphasized that the proposal for an oil embargo came from the “administrative and bureaucratic center” of the European Union, not from member states.

“It proposes something unacceptable. They know exactly Hungary’s position. They are familiar with the facts and the ratio of Russian gas and oil in our energy portfolio and us. They are familiar with the importance of the economic system of Hungary, so they know exactly what they are proposing is against the interests of Hungary, “he said.

He added that the proposal would “ruin the Hungarian economy.”

Brussels Proposal “Against Hungary’s National Energy Security”

The proposal by Brussels to ban oil imports from Russia by the end of next year “opposes Hungary’s national energy security,” Zoltan Kovac, Secretary of State for International Communications and Relations, told CNN on Wednesday.

“After the collapse of communism (1989), we have inherited a one-sided dependence on Russia.”

He added that the government has been working to increase the diversity of energy supplies over the last 12 years. Hungary will not be able to find an alternative energy source to Russia’s energy within the short deadline proposed by the EU, he added.

“So far, we have not received much support on behalf of the European Union beyond the Croatian energy terminal. Therefore, in Hungary now and in the near future, no resources, capacity or alternative resources are available.” He said.

In response to the question, Kovács denied reports that Hungary had been pre-warned by Russia about the invasion of Ukraine.

Hungary “received information and information at the same pace as other NATO allies,” he added.

Source: MTI, BBC, CNN Hungary’s EC oil embargo proposal is “unacceptable,” officials say

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