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Hungary hurdle to EU oil ban

Kremlin-aligned leader Viktor Orban on Friday calling the proposed sanctions an 'atomic bomb' on his country’s economy
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New York Times News Service   |   Published 07.05.22, 02:50 AM

Hungary is emerging as the key spoiler in the final-stretch of EU talks to formalise an embargo on Russian oil, with its Kremlin-aligned leader Viktor Orban on Friday calling the proposed sanctions an “atomic bomb” on his country’s economy.

Orban has been increasingly at odds with the bloc. And he disparaged the new EU sanctions under discussion in Brussels despite the fact that his own envoy has been constructively participating in the talks for weeks and had secured exemptions to ease the measures’ impact on Hungary, according to several EU diplomats and officials.

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Addressing the nation on state-run radio on Friday morning, Orban accused Ursula von Der Leyen, president of the European Commission, the bloc’s executive branch, of undermining European unity by proposing sanctions on Russian oil imports without consulting directly with European Prime Ministers.

The proposal would impose the same rules for all EU countries, whereas some countries do not have access to ports, he said. “

This proposal, in this form, amounts to an atomic bomb being dropped on the Hungarian economy.”



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