Hungary throws a fresh wrench into EU sanctions discussions

According to officials, Budapest has requested that Patriarch Kirill be exempted from the new round of sanctions on Moscow.

Hungary has proposed to spare Patriarch Kirill from the current wave of sanctions on Russia, barely two days after EU leaders approved the measures, according to three officials.


EU ambassadors gathered on Wednesday afternoon to examine the legislative wording of the sixth package of sanctions, which includes a ban on Russian oil imports, after leaders reached an agreement Monday evening. The framework agreement featured a significant concession to Hungary and a temporary exemption for pipeline-supplied crude oil.


While leaders congratulated themselves on reaching an agreement after weeks of impasse, the ambassadors' technical discussions on the legal wording have encountered a snag.


Hungary protested to the plan to censure the head of the Russian Orthodox Church, a close supporter of Putin, during the summit on Wednesday.


The Hungarian demand was unexpected. On May 4, the European Commission offered a package that EU officials had anticipated would result in an agreement. This week, EU ambassadors will continue discussing the legislative language of the penalties.

By fLEXI tEAM