Europe

Talking Europe – Hungary ‘holding EU decision makers hostage’ over Russia oil embargo: Lithuanian FM

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Hungary’s government is “holding European Union decision makers hostage” by refusing to join an EU-wide embargo on Russian oil, according to Lithuania’s foreign minister. This comes as EU leaders continue their efforts to gather support for a sixth sanctions package on Russia from all 27 EU member states. The government of PM Viktor Orban has claimed that an import ban on Russian oil would ruin the Hungarian economy. Lithuania’s Foreign Minister Gabrielius Landsbergis tells FRANCE 24 that “Europe is weaker” as a result, and that he is “still hoping Budapest will be responsible in their decisions”.

Meanwhile, after the Finnish president and prime minister announced their intention to apply for Finland to join NATO, the minister welcomes the decision, despite the Kremlin having responded that it would be forced into “military-technical” retaliation. “I’m absolutely convinced 100 percent that the Baltic region will be safer and NATO will be stronger, because Finland and Sweden are true regional military powers.”

Just a few days after Lithuania’s parliament declared Russia a terrorist state, and that Vladimir Putin’s regime is committing genocide in Ukraine, Landsbergis explains that this is based on evidence being found as Russian troops abandon Ukrainian territory they had occupied. “From Kyiv towards Kharkiv, we are seeing what Russia was trying to accomplish there: mass killing of unarmed civilians. When these crimes are based on nationality – meaning only Ukrainians are being killed – we can apply a term of genocide in this perspective.”

Produced by Georgina Robertson, Sophie Samaille, Perrine Desplats and Isabelle Romero

Source: France24

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