Hungary reiterates its stance on Russia sanctions
‘No one should lecture us on our relations with Russia’, Budapest’s envoy to Germany says
Hungary does not want to be lectured on its relations with Moscow and does not plan to impose “radical sanctions” against Russia, the country’s ambassador to Germany Peter Gyorkos said in an interview with Die Welt on Monday.
The diplomat was asked to explain Hungary’s position on the hostilities between Russia and Ukraine and why Budapest continued to go against the EU in many aspects relating to the conflict.
“No one should lecture us on our relations with Russia,” insisted the diplomat, adding that Hungary “knows from its history” that a confrontation with Moscow is something that should be avoided by all possible means.
He noted that Hungary has supported all the EU sanctions imposed on Russia up until the sixth round, which included significant energy restrictions. The ambassador said that Hungary depends on Russian supplies, and that it would take “time and money to reduce dependence,” which is why Budapest has so far refused to support “radical sanctions” and is opposed to an “immediate halt to energy imports.”
Gyorkos also took issue with Kiev’s attempts to pressure Budapest to allow the transfer of weapons from Germany to Ukraine through its territory, stating that “Ukraine’s critical comments are irritating.” He noted that Hungary has “been doing a lot for Ukraine” even if it did not support the movement of weapons.
“Russia has made it clear that arms deliveries will become legitimate military targets,” Gyorkos insisted, pointing out that many Hungarian minorities that live on the Ukrainian side of the border could potentially be put in danger. “We can’t allow that. As simple as that,” said the diplomat.
“Germany is doing a lot for Ukraine. The Germans have already paid a price for this and they will continue to pay for it,” said the diplomat, noting that despite all this, Ukraine continued to respond with “unfair” criticism of Berlin.
“It also bothers me when Ukraine criticizes us. Hungary does a lot for Ukraine,” Gyorkos insisted, noting that Hungary has accepted over 750,000 refugees from Ukraine, many of which have stayed in the country.
Last week, Balazs Orban – a senior adviser to Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban – insisted that the EU should stop targeting Russia with new sanctions altogether, and instead focus on finding alternative means of achieving peace through negotiations.
The politician, who is not related to the PM, insisted that any further sanctions on Russia would only serve to hurt the EU’s economy without having a significant effect on Moscow.
Earlier this month, the prime minister warned that any potential gas embargo on Russia would “ruin the whole European economy” and has insisted that only a peaceful solution to the conflict could curb inflation and save the economy from further shocks.