Hungary has told its European Union counterparts that upgrading its oil industry will cost at least 770 million euros, Bloomberg reports.
Prime Minister Viktor Orban's government said 550 million euros are needed to overhaul oil refineries and another 220 million euros are needed to build a pipeline from Croatia. Additional funds may be needed to adjust to a potential price hike resulting from the Russian import ban.
Landlocked Hungary is also pushing for any restrictions to be focused on seaborne oil and for pipelines to have exemptions for Budapest to uphold the ban.
As part of a broader strategy to move Europe away from Russian oil and refined fuels over the next six months, the EU is expected to offer some investment this week to help countries most dependent on Russian supplies. He also invited Hungary and Slovakia to meet the requirements by the end of 2024, and the Czech Republic by June of that year.
One source said they hope the package will convince Hungary to drop the veto threat and end the week-long deadlock on the proposal. Orban invited the EU leaders to discuss this issue, the next European Council summit is scheduled for the end of May.
Hungary, has been seeking technical and investment guarantees for the transition from Russian oil, including for infrastructure in Croatia.
The proposed amount is only a fraction of the €15-18 billion that Hungarian Foreign Minister Péter Szijjarto said would be needed to repair Hungary's energy infrastructure.
According to another European diplomat, Hungary's position has drawn sharp criticism from other EU members. Even countries once closely linked to Hungary have begun to express frustration, with the Czech foreign minister calling Orban's stance "unacceptable" on Tuesday.