Monday, 28 November, 2022

‘Step toward war’: Hungarian PM hits out at EU sanctions against Russia

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban believes that the EU's sanctions policy towards Russia is pushing the European community to war.

Speaking on Friday morning with the Kossuth radio station, he stressed that peaceful negotiations are needed to resolve the conflict in Ukraine, not restrictive measures.

"The sanctions' policy is a step toward war," the leader insisted. According to him, if someone intervenes in a military conflict with the help of sanctions, then "he takes the position of one side or another and takes a step towards war." To resolve the situation in Ukraine, a ceasefire and the beginning of peace negotiations between the conflicting parties are required, Orban maintained.

"What Europe is doing now is very dangerous," the prime minister cautioned. It is obvious that we are getting closer to war step by step. We are not under fire yet, but we are very close to becoming a real belligerent." Orban stressed that Hungarians sense this very intensely because they are in close proximity to the conflict in the neighboring country.

The Hungarian leader also recalled that Budapest had advocated peace and opposed the EU’s sanctions from the very beginning. However, "Hungary cannot afford" to veto every EU decision, although it intends to continue to seek exceptions for itself regarding restrictions on cooperation with Russia, even in the energy sector, Orban stressed. According to him, until now Hungary has managed to set special rules for itself, although arguing with the leaders of 26 other EU countries is "not a very convenient situation."

"Sometimes you have to leave things the way they are," Orban admitted. Nevertheless, he vowed that if the ninth package of sanctions against Russia is discussed in Brussels, which stipulates additional restrictions in the energy field, then "at the cost of major struggles" he will ensure that Hungary is exempted from them. It is difficult for Hungary to get immunity for itself, but it will fight to protect its interests in order to avoid the devastating consequences of sanctions, Orban promised.