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Hungary will not object to EU sanctions against Russia: Orban

FILE PHOTO: Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban speaks to the media as he visits the Ukraine-Hungary border where people cross into the country to flee the Russian massive military operation against Ukraine, in Beregsurany, Hungary, February 26, 2022. REUTERS/Bernadett Szabo

Hungary will not object to European Union sanctions on Russia, and Prime Minister Viktor Orban stated that the bloc’s unity is crucial in light of the conflict in Ukraine, which Hungary unequivocally condemns.

The news: Hungary joined an initiative by eight EU leaders this week to begin membership discussions with Ukraine’s eastern neighbour, but NATO member Hungary has opposed the passage of lethal weaponry via its borders.

  • Orban, 58, is up for re-election in little over four weeks, but his campaign has been hampered by rising prices, a halt on EU financing over a dispute about democratic standards, and the aftermath from the Ukraine war.

What Orban said: “We condemn the Russian attack, as they have launched a war against Ukraine,” Orban said on Thursday. Russia calls its onslaught a “special operation”.

  • “The sides should return to the negotiating table as soon as possible,” Orban said. “All of Europe should be working for peace.”
  • Hungary’s ties with Russia had been “balanced and fair” until recently, Orban said, but the war has created a new situation. Orban has been heavily chastised by the Hungarian opposition for his close ties with Moscow.
  • He did add, though, that there was no need to terminate ties with Russia in the energy sector.
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