Budapest Refuses to Back Russian Oil Ban Until Hungary's Energy Concerns Addressed

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Oil pumpjack in the Republic of Tatarstan, Russia - Sputnik International, 1920, 09.05.2022
MOSCOW (Sputnik) - Hungary will not vote for a new package of EU sanctions that includes a ban on Russian oil unless Brussels offers Budapest options to ensure energy security, Hungarian government said on Monday.
“The foreign minister said Hungary will withhold its vote for the latest EU package of sanctions unless a solution is found to Hungary's concerns over its energy security,” the statement read.
According to the statement, the ban on Russian oil would largely affect Hungarian economy, prompting the petrol prices to jump to $1.93.
Earlier on Sunday, a source familiar with the matter told Sputnik that the EU Permanent Representatives Committee (COREPER) had failed to reach an agreement on the sixth package of sanctions against Russia during the Sunday meeting due to objections from Budapest.
The source added that the EU Commission proposed an extension to Hungary up to the end of 2024 to phase out Russian oil, however Budapest requested a longer adaptation period for the ban or a total exemption from it.
On 6 May, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban said that his country needs at least five years to reorient to oil supplies from other sources.
On 4 May, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen presented the sixth package of sanctions, which needs to be unanimously approved by member states to take effect. Among other things, it suggests banning Russian oil imports, which such countries as Hungary and Slovakia have repeatedly said they are not ready to do immediately and requested exemptions.
According to the International Energy Agency, Russian oil accounted for 40.5% of overall Hungarian oil imports in 2021.
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