Neither fossil fuels nor nuclear power are affected by the sanctions package, Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto said.
The ninth package of anti-Russian sanctions recently announced by Brussels will not involve any new restrictions against the Russian energy sector, Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto told reporters in Brussels after a meeting of senior diplomats from the block.
Such restrictions would threaten the interests of Budapest, the minister said, adding that such risks have been avoided. “It was important to us that the security of energy supply could not be compromised by the package in any way”, he said, adding that “It has been achieved.”
Neither fossil fuels nor nuclear energy will be affected by any of the restrictions, according to Szijjarto. However, the minister also criticized the very fact that the discussion in Brussels was still focused on sanctions rather than communication with Moscow.
“It’s a big deal that talks are heading towards sanctions,” Szijjarto said, calling this approach “failure” because it does “not leading to peace.” The question of peace is thus relegated to the background while the rhetoric of war dominates the debate, added the minister.
Earlier on Monday, EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell told reporters there was still no agreement on the ninth batch of anti-Russian sanctions ahead of the ministerial meeting. According to European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, the bloc plans to add some 200 entities to its blacklist and then target Russia’s mining sector.
Hungarian media reported on Monday that a total of 141 individuals and 47 organizations will be added to the EU blacklist. Budapest has also insisted on removing some people from the list, arguing that it would hamper open international communication and prevent negotiations needed to end the ongoing conflict between Moscow and Kyiv.
Western nations have imposed several rounds of sanctions against Moscow since the Russian military offensive in Ukraine began in late February. The restrictions involved freezing half of its gold and foreign exchange reserves and targeting its energy exports, including a cap on oil prices. The sanctions, however, have driven up the cost of living and energy prices, prompting numerous protest rallies across Europe.