A proposal by the European Commission to phase in an embargo of Russian oil is “unacceptable” for Hungary, Zoltán Kovács, state secretary for international communications and relations, told the BBC.
Asked whether Hungary would veto the proposal on an episode of the BBC’s HardTalk aired Thursday, Kovács said: “Shortly, yes”.
He noted that Hungary gets 65 percent of its crude from Russia at present, adding that the landlocked country relies on pipelines for delivery.
He said it would take 3-4 years and around half a billion euros of investment for Hungary’s oil industry to adapt to a shift in supply of crude.
Kovács stressed that the proposal on the oil embargo is coming from “the administrative and bureaucratic centre” of the European Union, not the member states.
“It is proposing something that is unacceptable. They exactly know the Hungarian position. They are familiar with the facts, they are familiar with the ratios of Russian gas and oil in our energy portfolio and the importance for our economic system. So they exactly know that what they are proposing is against Hungarian interests,” he said.
The proposal would “ruin the Hungarian economy”, he added.
Featured photo by Tibor Illyés/MTI