Hungary proposes removing Russian oil embargo from EU agenda

Hungary proposes removing Russian oil embargo from EU agenda
Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto blamed the EU’s executive branch for pushing the plan without ensuring the energy security of Hungary, which gets 85 percent of its natural gas and more than 60 percent of its oil from Russia
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Updated 25 May 2022

Hungary proposes removing Russian oil embargo from EU agenda

Hungary proposes removing Russian oil embargo from EU agenda
  • Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban, who is considered Russian President Vladimir Putin’s closest EU ally, has argued that an EU oil boycott would be an “atomic bomb” for Hungary’s economy

BUDAPEST: European Union efforts to impose an embargo on Russian oil faced more roadblocks Wednesday as Hungarian officials said they would not back the plan in its current form and recommended removing the topic from the agenda of an EU leaders’ summit next week.

The EU has worked to forge a consensus among its 27 member nations for cutting off Russian oil by the end of 2022 to block a key source of revenue financing Russia’s war in Ukraine.

While some countries in central and Eastern Europe initially expressed reservations over the embargo, Hungary remains the most vocal member nation blocking the measure, which is part of a sixth proposed round of EU sanctions against Russia.

During a news conference in the Hungarian capital, Budapest, Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto said Wednesday that Hungary would not vote in favor of the oil embargo proposal “as long as it makes Hungary’s energy supply impossible.”

He blamed the EU’s executive branch for pushing the plan without ensuring the energy security of Hungary, which gets 85 percent of its natural gas and more than 60 percent of its oil from Russia.

“This problem was created by the European Commission, so the solution must be offered by the European Commission. The solution must come first, and only then can we talk about sanctions,” Szijjarto said.

While the EU earlier offered exceptions to landlocked countries like Hungary, Slovakia and the Czech Republic that are particularly dependent on Russian oil, granting them extended timelines for the phase-out, the government in Budapest has remained steadfast in its opposition to sanctions on Russian energy.

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban, who is considered Russian President Vladimir Putin’s closest EU ally, has argued that an EU oil boycott would be an “atomic bomb” for Hungary’s economy and destroy its “stable energy supply.”

Orban wrote a letter to the president of the European Council on Monday, asking that the proposed oil embargo be taken off the agenda of the summit set to begin May 30.

In the letter to Charles Michel, Orban said Hungary was “not in a position to agree to the 6th sanctions package until the negotiations succeed in resolving all outstanding issues,” and that a solution was “very unlikely” to be reached before next week’s summit.
“I am convinced that discussing the sanctions package at the level of leaders in the absence of a consensus would be counterproductive,” Orban wrote. “It must remain our priority to maintain the unity of the European Union.”


MENA Project Tracker —  Edamah requests bids on newest project; KAPP starts bids on IWPP projects 

MENA Project Tracker —  Edamah requests bids on newest project; KAPP starts bids on IWPP projects 
Updated 21 sec ago

MENA Project Tracker —  Edamah requests bids on newest project; KAPP starts bids on IWPP projects 

MENA Project Tracker —  Edamah requests bids on newest project; KAPP starts bids on IWPP projects 

RIYADH: Bahrain Real Estate Investments, known as Edamah has begun its hunt for bids for the 20,717 square meter plot investment project at Hidd within Muharraq governorate in Bahrain.

The development is located alongside Diyar Al Muharraq and Dilmunia waterfronts, near the Khalifa town housing project.

The leading property developer has held Bahrain’s sovereign wealth fund since its establishment in 2006, reported Trade Arabia.

It is also on the search for bids on a similar investment project development — which includes six more plots with a total area of 5,618 square meter at Askar within Southern governorate.

KAPP starts bids on water and power generation

Kuwait Authority for Partnership Projects, known as KAPP, has requested bids to develop Al-Zour North 2 and 3 and Al-Khiran 1 as part of the independent water and power producer projects.

The two plots are expected to generate a net capacity of 4,500 MW of power and 290 million imperial gallons a day of water, reported MEED.

This decision comes amid increased power demand in Kuwait — soaring to a record high of 15.67 Gigawatt last July.

The deadline for submitting project bids is on Aug. 16.


Saudi airline Flynas to operate AlUla-Cairo direct flights from October

Saudi airline Flynas to operate AlUla-Cairo direct flights from October
Updated 25 min 40 sec ago

Saudi airline Flynas to operate AlUla-Cairo direct flights from October

Saudi airline Flynas to operate AlUla-Cairo direct flights from October

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s budget airline Flynas announced the launch of its first direct flights between its heritage city AlUla and Cairo, starting from 6th October, according to the Saudi Press Agency. 

The airline will operate two direct flights per week, on Saturdays and Thursdays, between AlUla International Airport to Cairo International Airport.

Located in the north-west of Saudi Arabia, AlUla is one of the key tourist destinations that offers a variety of experiences in heritage, art, culture, recreation and adventure.


Saudi Aramco becomes first-ever MENA firm in Clarivate’s top 100 global innovators list

Saudi Aramco becomes first-ever MENA firm in Clarivate’s top 100 global innovators list
Updated 42 min 25 sec ago

Saudi Aramco becomes first-ever MENA firm in Clarivate’s top 100 global innovators list

Saudi Aramco becomes first-ever MENA firm in Clarivate’s top 100 global innovators list

RIYADH: Saudi Aramco has been named one of the top 100 global innovators by American analytics company Clarivate. 

In its report titled “Top 100 Global Innovators 2022,” Clarivate revealed that Saudi Aramco is the first-ever company from the Middle East and North Africa region to be placed in the list. 

“The regional diversity continues to increase, with the first-ever Middle Eastern list entry via energy firm Saudi Aramco,” wrote Clarivate in the report. 

Apart from Saudi Aramco, other new entrants to the list are China’s Alibaba, Germany’s Continental, US’ General Motors, South Korea’s Hyundai Motors and Kia Motors, US’s Philip Morris International, and UK’s Rolls-Royce. 

Clarivate added that companies have been included in the list based on factors like influence, success, globalization, and technical distinctiveness. 


TASI extends losses on fears of economic slowdowns: Closing bell

TASI extends losses on fears of economic slowdowns: Closing bell
Updated 47 min 6 sec ago

TASI extends losses on fears of economic slowdowns: Closing bell

TASI extends losses on fears of economic slowdowns: Closing bell

RIYADH: Saudi stock markets extended losses as investors worried that the latest central bank efforts to curb inflation would lead to rapid economic slowdowns.

The main index, TASI, fell 0.93 percent to reach 11,358, while the parallel market, Nomu, dropped 1.94 percent at 20,672.

Fawaz Abdulaziz Alhokair Co. led the decliners since the market opened with a 9.99 percent fall, followed by Abdulmohsen Alhokair Group for Tourism and Development which fell 9.92 percent.

Saudi Aramco, the largest player on the Saudi oil market, lost 1.29 percent, while Methanol Chemicals Co. fell 2.57 percent.

In the financial sector, the Kingdom’s largest valued bank Al Rajhi, dropped 0.50 percent, while The Saudi National Bank slipped 1.05 percent.

Among the biggest IT companies, Elm Co. gained 0.56 percent and Al Moammar Information Systems Co. edged down 2.08 percent.

Jadwa REIT Saudi Fund led the gainers with 4.75 percent gain, closely followed by Dar Alarkan Real Estate Development Co. with a 4.56 percent rise.

In the energy sector, West Texas Intermediate crude was trading at $109.69 per barrel and Brent crude was trading at $113.12 per barrel as of 3:24 p.m. Saudi time.


Saudi Arabia to help citizens affected by rise in global commodity prices: Crown Prince

Saudi Arabia to help citizens affected by rise in global commodity prices: Crown Prince
Updated 04 July 2022

Saudi Arabia to help citizens affected by rise in global commodity prices: Crown Prince

Saudi Arabia to help citizens affected by rise in global commodity prices: Crown Prince

RIYADH: Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has urged government agencies to think about Saudi Arabia’s neediest citizens in the wake of the increasing cost of some basic needs.

Chairing a meeting of the Council of Economic and Development Affairs, the Crown Prince stressed the important roles of ministries and government agencies in monitoring international developments, the Saudi Press Agency reported.

This includes food supply chains, monitoring markets, product availability and price levels, and protecting and encouraging fair competition, as well as combating and preventing monopolistic practices that affect legitimate competition or the interest of the consumer.

During the meeting held in Jeddah, the Council reviewed a number of economic and development issues, including a presentation on the price levels of a number of products in the Kingdom's markets, submitted by the Ministry of Commerce with participation of the Ministry of Environment, Water and Agriculture, and the Ministry of Economy and Planning.

The Council was also briefed on health developments related to the COVID-19 by the Ministry of Health.

The presentation included an update following the decision to lift the precautionary and preventive measures related to the pandemic, in addition to updates on administering vaccines, the most prominent preparations for this year’s Hajj season, and the state of the epidemiological situation internationally.

The Council also followed up on the periodic presentation submitted by the Ministry of Economy and Planning regarding the analysis of opening economic activities and the impact of the pandemic.

The Council has taken the necessary recommendations on these issues, SPA said.