Sanctions against Russia in the field of energy must be lifted, and there should be no talk of introducing new sanctions, said Tamás Menczer, the minister of state for bilateral relations of the Hungarian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, in a video posted on his Facebook page on Monday.
Menczer said it was “shocking, but he lied,” referring to Josep Borrell, the European Union’s high representative for foreign affairs and security policy.
“Josep Borrell is quite simply not telling the truth: He has now claimed that the sanctions policy was never intended to end the war,” Menczer said. “On the contrary, the truth is that Brussels introduced the sanctions policy to end the war.”
As Remix News reported last week, Borrell said that the European Union never expected sanctions to stop Russia from waging its war in Ukraine, but the policy of sanctions will still continue, a claim that Menczer is actively disputing as an effort to revise history.
Menczer added that “the European External Action Service, which is headed by Josep Borrell, had made this clear: he aim of the sanctions policy is to end the war, and that is how the war is to be stopped.”
“So the situation is that Josep Borrell is now denying what the organization he heads has described,” said Menczer. “If the situation were not extremely serious, we could say this is ridiculous.”
The state secretary said two conclusions could be drawn from Borrell now denying that sanctions are designed to end the war, according to Hungarian news outlet Magyar Hirlap. The first is that the sanctions policy has failed and has not brought the war to an end, which has resulted in those running foreign policy in Brussels to already start lying about the basis for sanctions in the first place. The second conclusion is that the sanctions policy is weakening the European Union and even helping Russia to grow its revenues, which is an inconvenient reality the EU wishes to obfuscate.
Menczer said that in the first nine months of last year, the share of gas and oil revenues in the Russian budget was 35 percent; for 2022, this figure has increased to 43 percent, meaning Russia is still earning substantial amounts of money by selling energy.
“So Russia is generating record revenues, while we in Europe are paying a sanction surcharge for energy and suffering sanction inflation,” he said.
Menczer is not the only voice calling for a rethink on Russia sanctions. Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán called for sanctions on Russia to be lifted by the end of the year, arguing that they hurt Europeans more than they harm Russians.