The European Union has so far been unable to reach agreement on a sixth package of sanctions against Russia.
This was stated by Josep Borrell, head of the European Parliament, after a meeting of foreign ministers in Brussels, Reuters reports
"Unhappily, it has not been possible to reach an agreement today," the politician said.
Borrell noted that the meeting of the EU foreign ministers on Monday could not break the deadlock, as "the same difficulties in unanimity" remained.
How EU became a hostage to Hungary
Hungary is the only one of the 27 member states that is still holding the decision "hostage", EU ministers complain, according to The Guardian.
Lithuania’s foreign minister, Gabrielius Landsbergis, said: "Unfortunately the whole union is being held hostage by one member state."
Budapest was offered to be allowed to buy Russian oil until the end of 2024 and everyone expected that this would be enough, the politician explained.
Other EU member states voiced impatience with the delay.
"We need to get on and do this," Ireland’s foreign minister, Simon Coveney, said. "This is about a deterrent to the continuation of war. The sooner the EU can finalise that sixth sanctions package the better."
Johanna Sumuvuori, Finland’s junior foreign minister, also gave her opinion about the ban on Russian oil:
"It’s very important to do our utmost, so that we can make a strong statement as an EU," she stated.
Big money for Budapest’s consent
In addition to Hungary, concessions on the embargo on Russian oil were made in relation to countries such as Slovakia (postponed until the end of 2024) and the Czech Republic (until June 2024).
While Bratislava and Prague are ready to sign the sixth package, Budapest continues to block the process.
Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban, for his part, assures that he will not block EU sanctions against Russia if they do not pose a risk to Hungary's energy security.
At the same time, he states that Europe is partly responsible for high energy prices:
"Every day Brussels abuses its power and tries to impose on us what we don't want."
Hungarian Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó says abandoning bloody oil will cost the country between 15 billion and 18 billion euros and urges the EU to come up with a plan.
Hungarian officials say Croatia must boost its capacity to ensure access to alternative supplies.
European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, however, hopes to find common ground with Budapest.
She congratulated Orban On Twitter on the fact that parliament had voted for his re-election as prime minister on May 16.
"Dear Prime Minister Viktor Orbán, congratulations on your reelection today. The EU faces unprecedented challenges. I look forward to working together to ensure we can collectively address them successfully," the politician stressed.
In fact, the European Commission and Hungary are already negotiating an investment program to help the country remove its dependence on Russian energy.
- We previously reported that Budapest would not block Ukraine's accession to NATO and the EU.