Viktor Orbán said earlier this week that it is not a problem for us to pay for gas in roubles. However, the European Commission’s president said that that would be in breach of EU sanctions against Russia.
If Hungary were to pay for Russian natural gas in rubles, it would violate European Union sanctions against Russia, said Ursula von der Leyen, according to CNN. Russia charges countries it considers unfriendly in roubles for natural gas. This includes all EU countries. The Hungarian PM thinks this is not a problem for Hungary.
According to Telex.hu, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Péter Szijjártó said that Russia’s demand for ruble payments concerns the contract between Gazprom and MVM’s subsidiaries and that the parties are in talks and will only present the details afterwards.
According to him,
the EU has nothing to do with the agreement concluded by the two parties, and the Hungarian government does not support the EU’s position on gas imports.
As we can read in hvg.hu’s article, the next time Hungary will have to pay Russia will be at the end of May.
Hungary opposes the extension of sanctions to Russian fossil fuels and nuclear energy. In practice, however, on Thursday, the Fidesz group in the European Parliament approved a decision on this issue.
The President of the European Commission was interviewed by Christiane Amanpour on Friday.
“We did an analysis of the decree of Putin, and the legal case is very clear. What Putin is suggesting – this transforming euros into rubles and then paying the gas bill — it would be a breach of sanctions. If you do that, pay in rubles, you breach the sanctions, you circumvent the sanctions we put on Russia.”
As we can read in the CNN article, the EU held discussions with Budapest.
“So far, Hungary has stuck to the sanctions, so as long as we don’t see the opposite, it’s fine. Never before have we seen the European Union so united, so determined, so fast. And I think for each of our member states, also a question, do I want to be the first one to break that unity? I think no,”
said Von der Leyen.
However, Minister of State Zoltán Kovács said that Hungary stands by the decisions of the EU and NATO one hundred per cent, including in seeking peace. He said that paying in roubles does not mean circumventing international policy on sanctions.
Hungary will not send weapons and soldiers to Ukraine, this is a mandate given to the government by the Hungarian people, Zoltán Kovács, State Secretary for International Communications and Relations, stressed in an interview with CNN on Friday, according to szeretlekmagyarorszag.hu.
Source: Telex.hu, hvg.hu, CNN