The Hungarian prime minister said EU sanctions on Russia could backfire like a nuclear bomb, triggering a food crisis and a wave of migration.
“We are not satisfied with the imposition of sanctions on Russia,” Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban said Thursday when meeting with Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic at the International Agricultural Fair in Novi Sad, northern Serbia.
Prime Minister Orban reiterated that Budapest does not agree with the EU’s decisions on sanctions against Russia. According to him, sanctions have the potential to harm Hungary, lead to rising prices and ruin the economy.
“The imposition of sanctions on Russia is tantamount to a nuclear bomb because it can result in Hungary being unable to feed our people,” he said, adding that recent developments could also lead to a new migration crisis.
Mr Orban also warned of a “difficult winter” due to “rapid inflation, rising prices, famine in many parts of the world and a war in Ukraine”.
Prime Minister Orban, 58, is often neutral on the situation in Ukraine and once refused to allow Western arms aid to Kyiv through Hungarian territory, despite the country being both a NATO and EU member. Orban is also considered the most pro-Russian leader of the 27 EU member states.
Prime Minister Orban said he did not want to see Hungary involved in the Ukraine conflict. He also repeatedly warned the EU that the Russian oil embargo would be a red line for Budapest as Hungary is heavily dependent on Russian energy imports.
Hungary earlier this month blocked a sixth package of EU sanctions against Russia, including an oil ban. Budapest said it could not ban Russian oil overnight because the country’s economy would suffer a severe blow. Also, the transition to alternative energy sources would be very expensive and Mr Orban urged the EU to find a solution for the country if it wanted them to back the new sanctions package.
The EU has made great efforts to persuade Hungary to accept the plan to ban Russian oil, but so far without success. European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen traveled to Budapest last week to meet Prime Minister Orban to persuade him to support Russia’s oil ban, but in the end she could only say that she had “managed to sort out the issues.” “. .
Huyen Le (Corresponding rt, Ukraine today)