Alexey Gromov, Principal Director on Energy Studies of the Institute for Energy and Finance, commented to the Izvestia Internet portal on the initiative of Serbia and Hungary to build an oil pipeline to receive Russian oil.
It is increasingly difficult for Serbia to remain in the position of a country that is neutral in relation to the West and Russia. Belgrade failed to achieve an exception from the eighth EU sanctions package and has to look for new ways to deliver Russian oil. One of them is the continuation of the Druzhba pipeline from Hungary. However, the European Commission warns that they will not allow the re-export of fuel.
The bilateral agreement between Hungary and Serbia does not yet mean that the project will be implemented. The objections of the European Commission will at least slow down the process, Alexey Gromov notes.
— Perhaps the project will face a number of insurmountable obstacles. The European Commission has broad powers in the energy sector. And the decisions taken by the EU countries on a bilateral basis require coordination. Budapest will probably try to clarify the positions of the parties. If the situation reaches an impasse, Hungary can make a political decision - Viktor Orban often pursues independent politics - but the price for Hungary may be too high, Gromov says.
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