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