European Commission President Von der Leyen visited Hungary on May 9th and discussed with Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán about the latest proposal of the EU embargo on Russian oil in order to push the other side to support the EU’s measures.
Unfortunately, no agreement was reached after their meeting. Although the EU sources showed optimism for the final adoption of the embargo, the hope of aligning with the U.K. and the U.S. measures tends to be slim short-term.
Last week, the EU made concessions on a revised Russian oil embargo, allowing Hungary and Slovakia to extend their purchases of Russian oil through the pipeline until the end of 2024, in an attempt to win the early approval of the embargo by leaders of both countries. However, after the talks, the Hungarian government spokesman stressed that the authorities will not agree to the energy sanctions program as long as their concerns are not addressed.
Hungary currently needs to import two-thirds of its oil from Russia. Prime Minister Orbán said last week that it will take five years and a large investment in refineries and pipelines, in order for Hungary to completely change their current system of about 65% dependence on Russian oil.