DAVOS (Reuters) – German Economy Minister Robert Habeck has warned Hungary against blocking efforts to impose a European Union-wide embargo on Russian oil imports in response to the war in Ukraine.
“There are different solutions for different countries,” Habeck said Monday at the World Economic Forum in Davos. “I expect everyone, including Hungary, to work on a solution,” he added.
Earlier on Monday, the minister told German radio that he was disappointed that the EU had not yet reached an agreement on the oil embargo plan, which has been in the works for weeks, and that the Germany would be willing to waive Hungary’s participation to speed up the deal.
“If the Commission President says we do this at 26 without Hungary, then that’s a path I will always support,” Habeck told broadcaster Deutschlandfunk. “But I haven’t heard that from the EU yet,” he added.
Of the 27 EU member states, Hungary is the most vocal critic of the planned embargo on Russian oil.
The Commission has proposed phasing out imports of Russian oil by the end of the year in most EU member states, while Hungary and others may be given more time.
But Budapest, Moscow’s closest ally in the EU, said it wanted hundreds of millions of euros from the bloc to mitigate the cost of abandoning Russian crude. The EU needs all 27 states to accept the embargo for it to be enforced.
(Reporting by Paul Carrel, Markus Wacket and Rachel More; Editing by Emelia Sithole-Matarise)