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U.S. To Take Action Against Hungary For Sanctions-Busting

A day after the Hungarian foreign minister visited Moscow to talk about energy supplies with Gazprom, sources have told Reuters that Washington is preparing to make a move against certain Hungarian individuals for sanctions-busting.

Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto met with Russian deputy PM Alexander Novak on Tuesday to discuss additional natural gas supplies for 2023, Reuters reported.

Agreements signed between the two parties on Tuesday pledge consistent supply of Russian oil and gas to Hungary, in addition to an amended deal for the financing of the expansion project for the country’s Paks nuclear power plant, according to BNE Intelligence

Hungary, a member of both NATO and the European Union and  highly dependent on Russian oil and gas, has refused to criticize Russian President Vladimir Putin and condemn the war on Ukraine despite mounting pressure from Washington and Brussels. Hungary’s nationalist prime minister, Viktor Orban, has been highly critical of EU sanctions on Russia.

"In recent days, in the streets, everyone has been confronted with the fact that it is no longer the opposition that is campaigning with U.S. money, but the U.S. Embassy directly campaigned in Hungary," Gergely Gulyas, Orban’s chief of staff, said on Twitter in a statement being circulated by Hungarian media.

"The U.S. has not given up trying to squeeze Hungary into the pro-war position shared by many of our allies, but Hungary remains convinced that peace is the only common interest,” he said.

In an alleged CIA intelligence update from the U.S. Embassy, Orban views the U.S. as a top adversary, and a trove of leaked documents that purport to be classified intelligence, suggests that Washington is spying on Orban’s Fidesz Party.

By Michael Kern for Oilprice.com

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