The European Commission (EC)'s planned oil embargo against Russia can be considered as a "nuclear bomb" on Hungary's economy, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban said on Friday.
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If adopted, the embargo will mean the end of utility price caps, while fuel prices could reach up to 800 forints (US$ 2.22) per liter. Household utility prices were fixed in Hungary to their 2014 level, while last year the Orban government put a limit on prices of petrol and diesel per liter at 480 forints.
European Union (EU) leaders have previously agreed that only such steps should be taken that take into account the member states' differing energy structures and their sovereign right to determine their energy mix.
However, the EC President Ursula von der Leyen has challenged the great difficulty of creating European unity, according to Orban.
The transformation of the Hungarian energy system would take years and thousands of billions of forints in order to replace Russian oil, Orban recalled.
"The introduction of sanctions is not a good solution, but Hungary's veto on the most important issues from our point of view must be maintained," he stressed, adding that he had been willing to approve the first five packages of sanctions but made it clear that the energy embargo would be a "red line."
The EU will phase out Russian crude oil within six months and refined products by the end of the year, according to von der Leyen, who announced the sixth package of sanctions against Russia.