Sanctions rift

Austrian Chancellor Karl Nehammer defended Hungary yesterday at a press conference in Prague after a meeting with Czech PM Petr Fiala. Nehammer said that if the EU recognizes that Russian natural gas is particularly important for Austria, the CR and Germany, it must grant this same right to Hungary in terms of Russian oil. Independence from Russian oil is a process that takes time, he said, just as it is in the case of gas. He also called on the EU Commission not to go public until after discussions have concluded, otherwise it gives the impression to the outside world of dissent. Fiala agreed, saying that he’s sorry that for the first time, EU members appear to be at odds. He didn’t mention the comment on Mon. by his own foreign minister, Jan Lipavský, about how the sixth sanctions proposal was acceptable to the CR, or the remark from Lithuania’s foreign minister, Gabrielius Landsbergis, about how Hungary was holding the whole of Europe hostage. And Fiala certainly didn’t mention the further comment from Landsbergis about how a way to deal with Hungary is to get Ukraine to cut off the oil and gas to Europe.

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