NewsHungary vetoes sanctions on Russian nuclear energy in EU proposal

Hungary vetoes sanctions on Russian nuclear energy in EU proposal

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban
Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban
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ed. PRC

3:04 PM EST, November 28, 2023

Hungary has hindered the European Union's proposal for sanctions on Russian nuclear energy. Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjártó claims that including these sanctions in the 12th package could threaten the energy security of European countries.

Szijjártó reiterated that Budapest will not support restrictions on Russian nuclear energy, as reported by "Kommiersant".

In line with his argument, he suggested that the proposed sanctions, as part of the 12th package, could jeopardize the energy security of European countries.

Let's remember that Europe has, as yet, not imposed sanctions on the Russian nuclear sector despite pressure from Ukraine.

"For Hungary, Russia remains an important business and political partner. Currently, there are no indications that such a policy will change, especially because joint investment projects continue," reports the Central Europe Institute.

The most contentious issue remains that of nuclear power, particularly the PAKS II nuclear power plant being constructed by the Russians. It will be the first nuclear facility that Rosatom will build in the European Union. Orbán secured approval from the European Commission in late May of this year to alter the agreement ensuring it remains sanctions compliant.

As Szijjártó previously stated, the Russian-Hungarian project "aims to enhance the competitiveness of the Hungarian economy and secure energy." Russia also pledged to ensure stable supplies of nuclear fuel to Hungary.

Prime Minister Orbán's office explained to money.pl earlier in October that Hungary is one of the few countries that has managed to reduce carbon dioxide emissions while simultaneously increasing economic output since 1990. "By constructing PAKS II, extending the lifespan of PAKS I, augmenting solar power, and developing backup power systems, we anticipate Hungary achieving self-sufficiency four to five years ahead of schedule," the Hungarian government explains.

Veto Regarding Oil

Moreover, Szijjártó pointed out that Budapest would not support the proposed ban in the 12th sanctions package on the supply of Russian oil via the Friendship pipeline to Central Europe, including Hungary. The Hungarian FM clarified that this initiative didn't garner substantial support and was subsequently rejected, writes "Kommiersant".

According to reports from money.pl, Russia has delivered 3.65 million short tons of crude oil to Hungary just this year. Sanctions still do not affect the raw material supplied to Hungary.

Budapest is considered "an important partner" for Moscow regarding oil deliveries via the southern Friendship pipeline. In 2022 alone, Transneft delivered 5.41 million short tons of raw material.

Dr. Dominik Héjj, a political scientist and expert on Hungarian issues from the Central Europe Institute, reminded money.pl that Hungary was the only country that increased its imports of raw materials from Russia in 2022, rather than reducing them.

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