Ukraine warns Hungary for protesting Russia oil embargo

“Hungary complains that it depends on the Druzhba pipeline. But, first, they rejected Russian oil when it was chlorinated in 2019. Second, the pipeline passes through Ukraine. The conflict is happening in Ukraine and we are interested in a quick cut off of all financial supplies to Russia.“, Ukraine’s Energy Minister Lana Zerkal wrote on his personal Facebook page on May 26.

Speaking at the Kiev Security Forum on the same day, Ms. Zerkal criticized the policy of the Hungarian government – a country strongly opposed to the proposed Russian oil embargo, which prevented the EU from approving the 6th round of sanctions with Moscow. .

According to Ukraine’s energy minister, Budapest is using Russia’s military campaign as a tool to achieve its own goals, and that the country now “can ask for anything” from the EU.

Ukraine warned Hungary for protesting the Russian oil embargo - 1

Refinery of the Russian oil company Lukoil. (Photo: lukoil.com)

She confirmed that Kiev is holding a powerful pressure lever, the Druzhba oil pipeline, and warned that “something might happen” with the Druzhba branch to Hungary.

“In my opinion, it would be appropriate if something happened to it. But again, the government and the president have to make decisions on political issues, decide if we really want to talk to Hungarian President Viktor Orban in the language he imposes on the EU or not. no or we’re not ready for that.” Ukrainian official emphasized.

Hungary has yet to comment on Ms. Zerkal’s warning.

Earlier, in a letter to European Council President Charles Michel, Hungarian President Viktor Orban is said to have told the EU that the bloc’s oil ban would cause serious problems with the country’s economy and so Budapest needs “urgent investments” from Brussels.

Hungary is almost entirely dependent on Russia for its gas imports and on Moscow for more than half of its oil imports. The country gets 65% of its oil consumption through the Druzhba pipeline from Russia.

Despite other EU member states seeking to boycott Russian energy, Budapest continues to buy gas from Moscow in rubles and opposes the EU’s oil embargo.

Commenting on the sanctions against Russian oil, Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto said Budapest would support a ban on shipping by sea, but not on pipeline deliveries.

Despite disagreements within the EU, German Economy Minister Robert Habeck earlier this week asserted that the bloc’s 27 member states “will achieve a breakthrough within days” on the embargo.

Since Russia launched its military campaign in late February, Ukraine has repeatedly called on other European countries to stop buying Russian energy sources. Kiev argues that doing the opposite means funding Moscow’s military campaign.

For his part, President Putin believes that European leaders are “suicide” economically by trying to give up Russian energy.

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