EU sanctions without oil ban would mean ‘breaking’ bloc unity: Ukraine – Economy – War in Ukraine

Dmytro Kuleba, Ukraine’s Foreign Minister, addresses the media during a statement in front of Weissenhaus Castle during the G7 group of major democratic economic powers at the Weissenhaus resort in Weissenhaeuser Strand, Germany, Friday, May 13 2022.AP

“If this package is adopted without (an) oil embargo, I think (Russian) President Putin can be happy because it will be the first case where the unity of the European Union will be broken because of the position of one country – Hungary,” warned Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba.

With 65% of Hungary’s oil coming from Russia, the country’s president, Viktor Orban, compared the planned sanctions plan to an “atomic bomb” for its economy.

Brussels has offered an exemption for Hungary until the end of 2023. But Budapest wants a five-year period to wean itself off Russian oil and says it will need a new pipeline with Croatia, which has access to the sea .

But kyiv does not find Hungary’s arguments convincing, Kuleba said.

“We see that there are more political arguments than economic ones behind Hungary’s position,” Kuleba said.

Urging the bloc to do everything possible to secure the ban, Kuleba said a waiver by Hungary “would cause a lot of damage to the European Union itself and therefore it must do everything possible to prevent it”. .

“We are not intervening in their discussion but this is a critical moment when we will see if the unity of the EU will continue to exist or if it will be broken,” he warned.

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Christi C. Elwood