Hungary’s foreign minister says the country won’t support a European Union proposal for banning oil imports from Russia in a move that could derail the bloc’s efforts to apply united pressure against Moscow over its war in Ukraine.
In a video on social media, Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto said Wednesday that Hungary’s energy supply “would be completely destroyed” by an EU embargo of Russian oil, which he said would make it “impossible for Hungary to obtain the oil necessary for the functioning of the Hungarian economy.”
Szijjarto’s statement came as European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen proposed that EU member nations phase out imports of crude oil within six months and refined products by the end of the year as part of a sixth package of sanctions against Russia.
The proposals must be unanimously approved to take effect, and reluctance by governments in Hungary and Slovakia to support sanctions against Russian fossil fuels has placed roadblocks before a united EU response.
Szijjarto said Hungary would only support the sixth round of sanctions if oil imports were exempted.
The Russo-Ukraine War has been more successful in mobilizing the U.K.
Britain announced a further raft of sanctions against Russia, banning the country from doing business with management consultants, accounting and PR firms in the U.K.
The British government also imposed asset freezes and travel bans on journalists working for state-owned media and other broadcast organizations the U.K. accuses of spreading propaganda.
The sanctioned individuals include three journalists embedded with Russian forces in Ukraine: Evgeny Poddubny, Alexander Kots and Dmitry Steshin.
The British government said the new sanctions would mean social media, internet services and app stores must take action to block content from two of Russia’s major sources of alleged disinformation, RT and Sputnik. Both have been pulled from British airwaves.
Tech and Digital Economy Minister Chris Philp said RT and Sputnik “have churned out dangerous nonsense dressed up as serious news to justify Putin’s invasion of Ukraine.”
The Associated Press contributed to this article.