“Hungary has not removed its veto. In fact, Hungary’s position on Russian oil and gas sanctions remains the same: we do not support them, “said Zoltán Kóvacs, foreign secretary for international relations.
Kovacs denied a report by the German broadcaster ZDF that his country, as well as Austria and Slovakia, were ready to withdraw their opposition to allowing Russian oil purchases.
Germany, which has been reluctant so far, is now ready to support the EU resolution.
The Hungarian media reported that the alleged change on the part of Hungary and Slovakia was due to assurances from Brussels that sanctions would not be used immediately, citing unnamed diplomatic sources.
Hungary buys 85% of its gas and 65% of its oil from Russia.
EU energy ministers are meeting today in an extraordinary council, scheduled after the Russian gas supply to Poland and Bulgaria was cut short for refusing to pay in rubles.
Hungarian Interior Minister Gergely Gulyás on Sunday called on the European Union not to approve sanctions affecting Russia on gas and oil, saying Hungary would only access these energy resources at exorbitant prices.
As Brussels prepares new sanctions against Russia, it will include a ban on oil imports.
The government of ultra-nationalist Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban has reiterated that it will not support such sanctions “so that the Hungarians do not pay the price for the war.”
Although Hungary is a member of the European Union and NATO, it maintains a neutral position in the face of Russian aggression.
Russia launched a military offensive in Ukraine on February 24 that killed about 3,000 civilians, warning that the actual number could be as high as the UN, and that more than 12 million, 5.4 million people had fled the country.
The invasion was generally condemned by the international community, which responded by sending arms to Ukraine and strengthening economic and political sanctions on Moscow.
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