Despite visit from von der Leyen, PM Orbán refuses to back Russia sanctions

European Commission President Ursula von der LEyen and Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán in Budapest on May 9, 2022. (Facebook)
By Dénes Albert
3 Min Read

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen made a short visit to Budapest on Monday in an attempt to convince Prime Minister Viktor Orbán to support the EU’s sixth sanctions package against Russia, but made little to no headway, according to reports.

While the photos released after the working dinner in the Hungarian prime minister’s office in Budapest show the two leaders smiling, all signs point to a not quite so friendly meeting. For one, the two did not hold a joint press conference or even offer joint statements to the press.

On the hosts’ part, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Péter Szijjártó gave a short debrief of the meeting in a video posted on his Facebook page, while von der Leyen summed up the meeting in a interview, Zsolt Hernádi, the president-CEO of Hungary’s oil and gas group MOL, said that converting the group’s two refineries (one in Hungary and one in Slovakia) to process Western crude would “take two to four years to implement and many hundreds of millions of dollars to spend.”

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