Hungary will veto EU sanctions against Russia on nuclear energy: PM Orban

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Hungary will veto any European Union sanctions against Russia affecting nuclear energy, Prime Minister Viktor Orban told state radio on Friday.

Ukraine has called on the 27-nation EU to include Russian state nuclear energy company Rosatom in sanctions but Hungary, which has a Russian-built nuclear plant it plans to expand with Rosatom, has blocked that.

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Orban reiterated in an interview that sanctions on nuclear energy “must obviously be vetoed.”

“We will not allow the plan to include nuclear energy into the sanctions be implemented,” the Hungarian premier said. “This is out of the question.”

EU-member Hungary has repeatedly criticized EU sanctions on Russia over its invasion of neighboring Ukraine, saying they failed to weaken Russia meaningfully, while they risk destroying the European economy.

The West has not imposed sanctions on Rosatom since Russia invaded Ukraine.

Hungary’s Paks nuclear power plant has four small Russian-built VVER 440 reactors with a combined capacity of about 2,000 megawatts, which started operating between 1982 and 1987.

It generates about half its power and the plant gets its nuclear fuel from Russia.

Under a deal signed in 2014 with Russia, Hungary aims to expand the Paks plant with two Russian-made VVER reactors with a capacity of 1.2 gigawatts each.

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