Czechia hits out at Hungary’s ‘unacceptable’ decision not to support EU’s energy sanctions against Russia

Czech Foreign Minister Jan Lipavsky arrives for an informal working dinner of the North Atlantic Council in Foreign Ministers' session with the Foreign Ministers of Finland and Sweden in Berlin, Germany, Saturday, May 14, 2022. (AP Photo/Michael Sohn)
By M B
2 Min Read

Czechia’s Foreign Minister Jan Lipavský has lashed out at the approach of the Hungarian government, which has decided not to support any sanctions aimed at Russian energy exports, calling the country’s position unacceptable.

Taking to Twitter on Tuesday, the Czech government minister criticized Viktor Orbán’s administration and claims Europe needed to be “united more than ever.”

EU countries on Monday again attempted to agree on new sanctions against Russia, the adoption of which are still hampered by disagreement over the proposed embargo on Russian oil imports.

The European Commission proposed sanctions 13 days ago and has since come up with several adjustments to address the demands of opposing countries. Hungary and Slovakia would receive an exemption from the embargo, which would apply from the end of this year until the end of 2024. Czechia would receive a similar exemption which would last until the middle of the same year. According to diplomats, Prague and Czechia are satisfied with these concessions, while Budapest imposes additional conditions.

Hungarian Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó said that his country would need European investments of €15-18 billion to modernize its energy structure. According to him, the second option is to exempt oil transported by pipelines from the embargo, which would apply only to the raw material transported by tankers. Otherwise, given the expected economic impact of the measures, Budapest is not ready to support the move.

Lipavský has profiled himself as a strongly pro-Brussels politician, and he has long been hostile to the Orbán government, and considers the Hungarian administration’s approach to sanctions targeting Russian energy exports to be unacceptable and inconsistent with European solidarity.

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