Although Hungary is on Russia’s list of unfriendly nations, the Hungarian government is taking a pragmatic approach to bilateral economic relations, the Russian ambassador to Budapest, Yevgeny Stanislavov, said in an interview with Russian news agency RIA Novosty.
“Hungary was added to Russia’s list of unfriendly countries because of its accession to the anti-Russian sanctions, but the channels for dialogue remain open,” said Stanislavov.
Hungary was added to the list a year ago, in March last year, along with the rest of the European Union.
At the time, Moscow imposed sanctions on the countries listed, which meant they could only pay for Russian gas in rubles.
“Budapest has a pragmatic position, which it will not give up under pressure from its allies, the European Union and NATO,” the Russian diplomat said.
At the same time, Stanislavov said he believes that the Orbán-led government is protecting Hungarian interests, which are being hit hard by “the crisis in Ukraine and the negative consequences of the anti-Russian sanctions in Brussels and Washington.”
He pointed out: Hungary has signed all the anti-Russian sanctions packages from Brussels and is forced to strictly implement them, which is why it has been put on Moscow’s list of unfriendly countries.
“In answer to journalists’ questions, I have already said that, as ambassador of this beautiful country, it is with great sadness that I have to acknowledge this fact,” he added.
Speaking from abroad, Hungarian Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Péter Szijjártó said in reaction to the interview that despite being on the list of non-friendly states, Hungary is doing its best to maintain normal relations with Russia.
“Like all EU member states, Hungary has been on Russia’s list of so-called unfriendly states for months, but despite this, cooperation between the parties on energy, for example, is also taking place smoothly and in a fair manner.,” Szijjártó said.