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

The proposed Russian energy sanctions are tantamount to “dropping a nuclear bomb on the Hungarian economy,” the Hungarian government told the head of the EU commission

editor: REMIX NEWS
author: Magyar Nemzet
European Commission President Ursula von der LEyen and Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán in Budapest on May 9, 2022. (Facebook)

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

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“Hungary’s energy supply is secure, but the adoption of this sanctions package would destroy our energy security, as it would be impossible to obtain the amount of oil needed to operate Hungary and the Hungarian economy if it enters into force,” the head of the ministry emphasized.

“We cannot allow the Hungarian people to pay the price of this war,” he added.

Szijjártó also reported that von der Leyen had been informed in detail about the effects and problems facing Hungary during the evening meeting.

“We asked that these problems be considered. As long as the European Commission does not offer a solution to these problems, Hungary will not be able to support the sanctions package, as in this form, without proposals for solutions, this package will amount to an atomic bomb dropped on the Hungarian economy,” Szijjártó said.

On her part, von der Leyen’s laconic tweet only said the discussion with Orbán had been “helpful to clarify issues related to sanctions and energy security.

“We made progress, but further work is needed. I will convene a VC with regional players to strengthen regional cooperation on oil infrastructure,” she added.

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