Hungary is prepared to veto the newest sanctions against Russia in the EU. Hungary may oppose the extension of the duration of sanctions. Poland and the Baltic states want to make it easier to sanction the family members of Russia’s richest men but might face opposition from Hungary on the topic.
The EU is preparing its 10th package of sanctions against Russia. They would like to finalise the details of the package by Friday. However, according to Politico, the Hungarian government could make things difficult again.
Hungary is opposing two parts of the sanctions. Prime Minister Orbán Viktor previously threatened the EU with a veto, if they went ahead with sanctioning the Russian nuclear energy sector.
Now Hungary is opposing lengthening the review periods of the sanctions from 6 months to 12 months. According to Politico, Hungarian diplomats are now using the chance given by the review process to request the removal of 4 specific people from the EU’s sanctioning list.
In theory, if no agreement is reached and Hungary blocks the rollover of the sanctions without a compromise, all 1,400 people would be de-listed. This is a highly unlikely scenario though. Politico quotes a Hungarian official saying that “the only open issue for Hungary is with the length of the rollover and not with the listings.”
Hungary also opposes the plans of Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, and Poland. They would like to expand the definition of the people who could face sanctions from the EU. The EU currently sanctions the “leading businesspersons operating in Russia.” The proposal suggests that “their immediate family members, or other natural persons, benefitting from them” should also fall under sanctions.
Hungary’s play with the veto did not go down well with other diplomats. “It shows Hungary’s disregard for unity and European values that they are willing to risk this in the week where we commemorate one year since the Russian invasion,” a diplomat is quoted by Politico.
According to Portfolio, EU officials are “unsurprised” by the latest Hungarian veto. They are hoping to reach a deal by 24 February, the one-year anniversary of the war.
Source: Politico.eu, Portfolio.hu
I love Mr. Orbán.
He’s the most sane voice in the EU.
Well done sir.