Hungary has achieved an exemption of pipeline deliveries of crude from European Union oil price caps, and ensured nuclear energy was exempt from the sanctions imposed on Russia, Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó said late on Tuesday.
In a Facebook post after the meeting of member states’ permanent representatives to the EU (COREPER) in Brussels, Szijjártó said the meeting focused on the sanctions against Russia. “As we have said many times before, Hungary rejected to support sanctions that would have harmed Hungary and the Hungarian people,” he said.
Thanks to Hungary’s “tough negotiations”, EU oil price caps do not pertain to pipeline deliveries, the way Hungary receives its supplies, he said. Marine deliveries are also exempt when they replace pipelines in an emergency, he added.
“We ensured that nuclear energy is exempt from the sanctions, so they will not pertain to the construction of the Paks nuclear plant. The sanctions list does not contain institutions important for cooperation in nuclear R and D,” he said.
The government has successfully stopped measures that would have harmed Hungarians or threatened their security, Szijjártó said. “We will continue to stand up for Hungarian national interests,” he said.
Kovács said in a video on Facebook that the restrictions imposed by Brussels on oil and oil products must not be left unmentioned.
For a long period after the outbreak of the war in Ukraine, the EU said no sanctions would be imposed on energy, he said. Then everything changed in June when Brussels forced through a decision on the ban of Russian crude oil and oil derivatives, he added.
“We said right from the beginning that imposing any sanction on energy would equal to dropping an atomic bomb on the Hungarian economy and also on the European economy,” he said. “In the case of Hungary, which has no sea ports and can therefore only receive gas and crude oil by pipeline, it is obvious that a switch would take long years and require many hundreds of billion forints,” he added.
After lengthy fights and a tough battle, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán has managed to achieve an exemption from sanctions on (pipeline-delivered) Russian crude oil, he said.
“By now, we can see that these sanctions hurt Europe much more than they hurt Russia, which has increased revenues while energy prices and inflation break loose in Europe,” he said.
“If enough of us express our support and tell our opinion, we will manage to change these decisions,” he added referring to the government’s National Consultation survey.