Brussels should focus on “surviving” the energy crisis, says Prime Minister Viktor Orban
The EU must change its sanctions policy because it suffers much more than the US from the conflict in Ukraine, said Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban.
His statement came after French President Emmanuel Macron told CBS News’ 60 Minutes on Sunday that there is “A Big Gap” How the crisis is affecting the US and the EU, as member states of the European bloc rely on foreign supplies of oil and gas while Washington is a producer of fossil fuels.
“President Emmanuel Macron is right: the cost of the Russia-Ukraine war is not the same on both sides of the Atlantic.” Orban tweeted on Monday.
“If we want European industry to survive, we need to tackle Europe’s energy crisis quickly. The time has come to reassess the sanctions”.
After Russia launched its military operation in Ukraine in late February, Western countries and their allies imposed sweeping sanctions on Moscow’s energy exports, including a cap on seaborne oil shipments, which went into effect Monday.
Hungary, whose economy is heavily dependent on Russian energy, has received some exemptions from the EU embargo. However, Budapest has warned of major negative side effects for the blockade stemming from sanctions against Moscow. Orban said in July that the EU has “shot himself in the lungs”
Budapest officials argued that Brussels should focus on achieving peace between Russia and Ukraine. Hungary has broken ranks with other Western countries by refusing to send weapons to Kiev or to train Ukrainian troops.
Moscow has repeatedly said it will not sell oil to nations that impose price caps. “We will only sell oil and petroleum products to countries that work with us based on market conditions, even if we have to cut production.” Deputy Prime Minister Aleksandr Novak said on Sunday. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Moscow was preparing an official response to the oil price cap.