Deal brokered in Brussels allows Hungary continued access to pipeline oil
European Union leaders have agreed to allow deliveries of Russian oil via pipeline with unchanged conditions, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán said in the early hours of Tuesday, after the first day of a summit in Brussels, according to a report by state news wire MTI.
"We've successfully staved off a proposal by the commission that would have prohibited the use of Russian oil in Hungary," Orbán said in a video message posted on Facebook, after the first day of the meeting of the European Council.
"We brokered an agreement that states that those countries that get oil delivered via pipeline may continue managing it under the old conditions," he added.
"We have enough problems already: energy prices are soaring, inflation is high, and all of Europe is teetering on the edge of a global economic crisis because of the sanctions. Under these circumstances, it would have been unbearable for us if we had to run the Hungarian economy with dearer oil, it would have been like a nuclear bomb, but we successfully avoided this," he said.
Early in May, the European Commission had proposed a complete import ban on Russian oil. Landlocked Hungary, which gets its oil via pipeline and whose main refinery is technically reliant on Russian crude, had pressed Brussels for "solutions before sanctions".
At a press conference after day one of the summit, European Council President Charles Michel said EU leaders had agreed on a sixth package of sanctions against Russia.
"Concretely, it will allow a ban on oil imports from Russia with a temporary exception for imports delivered by pipeline," he said.
"To be precise, the sanctions will immediately impact 75% of Russian oil imports and, by the end of the year, 90% of the Russian oil imported in Europe will be hit by this measure," he added.
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