No breakthrough is expected in the oil embargo talks at Monday’s meeting of EU foreign ministers in Brussels, said Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó at a press conference in the Belgian capital. Only correspondents from pro-government media sources were invited to the event, as the independent press was not even informed of it.
Integration of the Western Balkans was a key item on the agenda of the Foreign Affairs Council, with the foreign ministers of all the relevant countries present in Brussels.
Szijjártó had a poor opinion about the process, claiming that the EU’s efforts to integrate the region had been completely unsuccessful. He felt that “Brussels needs to change its pompous attitude,” then meet the conditions set by Hungary.
The Hungarian position is to acknowledge that Serbia is a vital country that can guarantee peace and security, and should be integrated into the EU. “We can easily admit Serbia tomorrow, but it should have been yesterday,” Szijjártó said.
The Foreign Minister also said that all three nationalities in Bosnia and Herzegovina should be treated equally, and Serb leader Milorad Dodik, an ally of the Orbán government that the EU wants to sanction, should be “left alone.”
Hungary’s position is also that the EU should conclude its accession negotiations with Montenegro and begin accession talks with Albania and Northern Macedonia.
Péter Szijjártó claimed that the European Commission had crossed a red line when it proposed an oil embargo, as it is opposed to Hungary’s interests. “We will never allow Hungarians to pay the price of the war,” said Szijjártó.
He then made a list of compensation funds the Orbán government expects from the EU: €500-550 million (US $521-573 million) to convert Hungarian refineries, €200 million ($208 million) to expand the capacity of the Croatian Adriatic oil pipeline, and €15-18 billion ($15.7-18.8 billion) to modernize Hungary’s energy infrastructure.
However, Szijjártó did not promise that Hungary would lift its veto on the Russian sanctions even if it receives the money it is demanding. [Magyar Hang]