The European Union is gearing up to propose a full Russian oil embargo, but Hungary has threatened to block it.
“Since decisions require unanimity, it makes no sense for the commission to propose sanctions affecting natural gas and crude oil that would restrict Hungarian procurements,” Cabinet Minister Gergely Gulyas told HirTV Sunday.
The EU could propose on Tuesday a Russian oil embargo that would be phased in over the coming months, sources told the Wall Street Journal. Bloomberg reported that the EU’s ban on Russian oil could come by the end of the year, and begin gradual restrictions until that point.
The moves toward a full ban on Russian oil come as Germany has agreed to a phased-in embargo after previously being hesitant.
But Hungary has been vocal in its opposition to such sanctions, saying they would cause severe damage to the country’s economy. Hungary Prime Minister Viktor Orban previously called sanctions on Russian energy his “red line.”
Still, Hungary and other countries that are also reliant on Russian energy supplies could be swayed with additional flexibility or some form of compromise, sources told Bloomberg.
Meanwhile, in the event that an embargo does pass, it would crater Russia’s economy even further, and could send it spiraling into a depression, an oil analyst told Insider earlier.
“Every single dollar a country is paying for Russian oil is funding the war [in Ukraine]. By cutting off those revenues, the goal is to ultimately cut off Russia’s ability to continue this war,” the analyst said.