Angela Merkel’s ‘special deals’ with Moscow blamed for Europe’s dependence on Russian gas

European Union lambasts Boris Johnson over NI 'clarity'

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The ex-German Chancellor was slammed by Mr Soros for her “mercantilist policies” while he addressed the World Economic Forum on Tuesday.

However, Mr Soros was full of praise for European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, who he claimed had a “strong European voice”.

He said: “Europe’s dependence on Russian fossil fuels remains excessive, due largely to the mercantilist policies pursued by former Chancellor Angela Merkel.

“She had made special deals with Russia for the supply of gas and made China Germany’s largest export market.”

He added that current German Chancellor Olaf Scholz “always seems to do the right thing in the end”, referring to the decision to halt the Nord Stream 2 pipeline and send arms to Ukraine.

This news comes as Ms von der Leyen told POLITICO that EU leaders were not likely to reach an agreement on sanctions against Russian oil when they meet next week.

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban wrote in a letter to the head of the European Council Charles Michel saying the new sanctions, including an embargo on Russian oil, should not be discussed next week.

Mr Orban wrote: “Looking at the gravity of the issues still open, it is very unlikely that a comprehensive solution could be found before the special meeting of the European Council on 30-31 May.

“I am convinced that discussing the sanctions package at the level of leaders in the absence of a consensus would be counterproductive.”

He added that “solutions must come before sanctions” when it comes to dealing with the crisis.

Hungary has not yet agreed to the sanctions deal and is not likely to until all outstanding issues are solved, reported Reuters.

The central European nation is heavily reliant on Russia for its energy supplies and has argued that these sanctions are harming the bloc more than they are the Kremlin.

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Budapest has asked to be exempt from the embargo for at least four years, as well as EU funds of €800million (£685million) for a new refinery and pipeline from Croatia.

The EU is unable to make any progress with the sanctions without the agreement of all 27 member states.

Ms von der Leyen still held hope that an agreement could be reached, saying: “What we are looking at is one or two member states that are landlocked, so cannot have oil via the sea and need alternatives in pipelines and in refineries, and there we are trying to find solutions.”

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