EU leaders plead with Orban to back Russian oil ban

BRUSSELS – EU leaders on Monday will try to persuade Hungarian President Viktor Orban to back a watered-down oil embargo against Russia after a month of haggling over the bloc’s latest sanctions.

The sixth wave of measures against Moscow was put on the table weeks ago, but has been refused by Orban who argues that an oil embargo would be an “atomic bomb” against his country’s economy. French President Emmanuel Macron cautiously told reporters that a long-sought-after deal was “getting closer”, but others doubted that the Hungarian leader was ready to sign on at this stage.

“I don’t think we’ll reach an agreement today,” said Estonian Prime Minister Kaja Kallas at a political meeting ahead of the summit in Brussels.  “Of course we’re going to have discussions, but everybody needs to be on board,” she said, adding that she did not expect a solution before a summit in late June.

 

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