Hungary’s Prime Minister Viktor Orban has declared a state of emergency in the EU country because of the Ukraine war. As Orban announced on Tuesday evening, the state of emergency that will apply from midnight is intended to protect the country from the economic effects of the Russian war of aggression in Ukraine. Orban had already declared a state of emergency because of the corona pandemic, but this order expired on Tuesday.
Orban had previously denied that there could be a quick EU agreement on an oil embargo against Russia. As the outstanding issues are serious, it is very unlikely that a comprehensive solution can be found before next week’s special EU summit, Orban wrote in a letter to EU Council President Charles Michel.
Federal Minister of Economics Robert Habeck (Greens) said on ZDF on Monday evening that he expected a breakthrough “within a few days”. EU member states have different levels of dependence on Russian oil, Habeck added. The EU can therefore also take Hungary into account. “Then something has to happen in Hungary.”
At the same time, in the letter from Monday, which is available to the German Press Agency, Orban advocates not discussing the sanctions package proposed by the EU Commission at the summit. This is counterproductive and would only reveal internal divisions without there being a realistic chance of resolving the differences. An EU official confirmed receipt of the letter on Tuesday.
Orban also confirmed that Hungary is still heavily dependent on Russian energy imports. Neither Hungarian households nor the Hungarian economy could withstand the price shock that the proposed sanctions would cause. He also points out that the most recent proposals by the EU Commission to relieve states that are particularly dependent on Russian energy have not allayed Hungarian concerns.
EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen does not expect an EU agreement on an oil embargo at the summit next week. “I think it’s not a suitable topic for the European Council because what we’re discussing here is very technical,” she told the Politico news portal on Tuesday.
At the beginning of March, the EU Commission originally proposed ending imports of Russian crude oil in six months and oil products in eight months because of the Ukraine war.