Putin’s puppet Orban ruining EU oil ban that would ‘starve Putin of oil and gas’ money

EU proposal for ban on Russian gas blocked by Orban says expert

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The European Union’s Ursula Von der Leyen has proposed a sixth sanctions package that includes an oil embargo aimed at depleting Russia’s sources of revenues and stopping feeding Vladimir Putin’s war machine in Ukraine. But the EU’s effort could fall short of delivering on its promise over the refusal by Hungary’s Prime Minister Viktor Orbán to get on board. 

A close friend of Vladimir Putin, Orbán could put a brake on the EU’s plan to stop Putin’s war.

Speaking to Sky News, former UK ambassador to Russia Sir Andrew Wood warned: “The Hungarians, Viktor Orban, a closet and not-so-closet friend of Putin’s has indicated that he is not yet for the package unless there’s some protection for Hungary which does get a lot of oil from Russia.

“But it does need unanimous consent by the EU’s 27 members.

“But the fact is, we’re not going to end this conflict until Putin is starved of oil and gas revenues, so one way or another, we have to go on ramping up these sanctions.”

The European Union imports about 25 percent of its oil from Russia and 40 percent of its gas which is not currently included in the package but would be the next step, if the EU can move ahead with all its member states.

“Under EU rules, one single state can veto a package.

“Now, the announcement of the oil embargo has had a generally supported view.

“I mean, most strikingly, the Germans came round to it some days ago, which was in a way the critical swing vote on this.”

German Prime Minister Olaf Scholz has been reluctant to impose an oil ban on Russian oil on the grounds Germany would fall into a recession.

In an unexpected move, the German finance minister Christian Lindner told CNN Russia was ready to support the oil ban and wouldn’t be “blackmailed” by Russia. 

Germany’s u-turn policy stems from the fact it has been working to stave itself off Russian energy.

Minister Lindner told CNN: “We have prepared ourselves to be less dependent on Russian energy imports.”

When asked about US President Joe Biden and UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s influence on the new package, former ambassador Sir Wood said it couldn’t be “underestimated” but that one clearly had more weight.

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Sir Andrew said: “I don’t think he (Boris Johnson) is as influential a voice as that of President Biden.”

“Biden has in a sense made it the centre of a new transatlantic relationship – something that Europe yearns for, American re-engagement in Europe after the Trump years.”

“Boris Johnson is more of a kind if you like wild card in this in that he obviously advertises the British response. What happens if you free a country out of the dead hand of Europe, it can move quickly on sanctions, which actually wasn’t really true.

“But it can also move on the armament front, which also really isn’t the case very much. It is still a member of NATO, which is the real coordination mechanism when it comes to military matters.

“So, I think, you know, people respect Boris Johnson’s leadership but they have not on this issue.”

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