Ukraine pulls rug from under Orban with stark threat as Hungary blocks Russia sanctions

Ukraine: Footage shows explosion of Russian ammunition depot

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The Hungarian leader is holding a veto on the EU Commission’s proposed package of sanctions which includes a ban on Russian oil. Commission President Ursula von der Leyen presented the package over a month ago but Mr Orban is still reluctant to agree to the proposals.

Frustrated with the delay, Olena Zerkal, an adviser to the Ukrainian energy minister and Ukraine’s former deputy foreign minister, said: “Hungary has taken advantage of the situation.”

Speaking at the Kyiv Security Forum on Wednesday evening she warned: “Ukraine has a wonderful lever in its hands — the Druzhba oil pipeline.

“Something could happen.

“In my opinion, it would be very appropriate if something happened to it.”

She said it would be up to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to decide “whether we really wants to speak with Orban in the language he understands and which he imposes on the European Union”.

In his lasted video address, the Ukrainian President also blasted: “Look at the number of weeks the European Union has been trying to agree on a sixth package of sanctions against Russia.

“Of course, I am grateful to our friends who are promoting new sanctions.

“But where did those who block the sixth package get so much power?

“Why are they still allowed to have so much power, including in intra-European procedures?”

He added: “Ukraine will always be an independent state and will not be broken. The only question is what price our people will have to pay for their freedom, and Russia — for this senseless war against us.”

Berlin hopes talks on the new round of sanctions will be completed soon but it will not be a topic at a leaders’ summit next week, a German official said on Wednesday.

Mr Zelensky’s comments mark the second day in a row that he has sharpened his criticism of the world’s approach to the war.

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On Wednesday he savaged suggestions that Kyiv make concessions to bring peace, saying the idea smacked of attempts to appease Nazi Germany in 1938.

He also reiterated complaints that the world had so far failed to totally isolate the Russian banking system and was not providing heavy weapons quickly enough.

Russia calls its actions in Ukraine a “special operation” that it says is not designed to occupy territory but to destroy its southern neighbour’s military capabilities and capture what it regards as dangerous nationalists.

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