Opinion: Could Hungary Get Financial Compensation for Phasing Out Russian Oil?

  • 13 May 2022 5:50 AM
  • BudaPost
Opinion: Could Hungary Get Financial Compensation for Phasing Out Russian Oil?
Before leaks or rumours spread about substantial compensation to be paid to Hungary for its vote on the ban of oil imports from Russia, a left-wing commentator argued that Hungary stands isolated in the world, while his pro-government counterpart saw Prime Minister Orbán as a key actor on the European scene.

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen paid an impromptu visit to Budapest on Monday to convince Mr Orbán to agree to phase out Russian oil imports. The Hungarian side argued that the EU was demanding huge material sacrifices from Hungary while holding back European funds from her.

On Wednesday, Brussels-based Politico quoted insider sources as saying that ‘EU officials are considering offering financial compensation to Hungary in an attempt to persuade Prime Minister Viktor Orbán to sign up to the bloc’s proposed sanctions on Russian oil’.

Hungarian officials reject the accusation that they oppose the oil shipment embargo out of friendly considerations for Russia.

In Népszava, András Rostoványi writes that as a result of Russia’s war on Ukraine, Hungary has remained isolated. The left-wing commentator recalls that US politicians, including President Biden and Foreign Minister Blinken regularly meet and talk to regional leaders – pointedly missing out Hungary. Rostoványi accuses the government of doing favours to Russia while criticizing Ukraine.

This may have helped Fidesz win the April election, by mobilizing the increasingly anti-Western Fidesz base, but at the same time this tactic has made the Hungarian government what he calls ‘an illiberal diplomatic island’.

Magyar Nemzet’s Gerely Kiss finds it absurd to suggest that Hungary is isolated in Europe. The pro-government commentator recalls that on Monday, European Commission President von der Leyen visited Budapest to meet Prime Minister Orbán to convince him to approve the EU’s proposed oil embargo on Russia.

Kiss suggests that by opposing the ban on Russian oil, Prime Minister Orbán is defending not only Hungarian interests, but also those of other European countries dependent on Russian energy imports. Prime Minister Orbán therefore, far from being isolated, has become a key actor on the European political scene, Kiss concludes.

This opinion does not necessarily represent the views of XpatLoop.com or the publisher.

Your opinions are welcome too - for editorial review before possible publication online. 
Click here to Share Your Story

 MTI / PM's Press Office Photo: Vivien Cher Benko

  • How does this content make you feel?

XpatLoop Media Partner


Launched in May 2011 to provide a balanced picture of matters covered in Hungary’s national press. Their aim is to make it easier for English-speakers to understand where this country is now and where it’s heading according to the full spectrum of media opinions.

Explore More Reports

  • New EU Sanctions Will Impact Hungary’s Trade with Member States

    New EU Sanctions Will Impact Hungary’s Trade with Member States

    • 6 Feb 2023 12:17 PM

    The new European Union sanctions will ban the imports and re-export of Russian oil products from Sunday, but Hungary’s exemption from the former and various alternative resources will ensure the country’s energy security, the energy ministry said.

  • Five Hungarian Companies Still in Russia

    Five Hungarian Companies Still in Russia

    • 5 May 2022 2:09 PM

    The Yale School of Management lists five Hungarian companies that are still active in Russia: pharmaceutical company Gedeon Richter, Herend Porcelain Manufactory, the MOL Group, state-owned axle and vehicle maker Rába and the healthcare product maker Sanatmetal.