Today, Friday, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban described the European Union’s sanctions against Russia As a “step towards war,” he doubled his criticism of Brussels’ strategy, saying it was “dangerous.”
“Anyone who intervenes economically in a military conflict takes a position,” the nationalist leader said during his traditional interview with a radio station close to the government.
“Little by little, we are slipping towards war,” he said, expressing his concern about the backlog of measures taken to punish Russia for its invasion of Ukraine.
Orban also opposes the European Commission’s proposal to grant Ukraine aid worth 18 billion euros for the year 2023, in the form of loans whose interest the member states bear.
“Hungary will not agree to the EU members contracting together on loans to help Ukraine,” he was quoted by the MTI news agency as saying.
Instead, he called for a payment to be shared “equally” by the 27 countries. He added that Hungary could offer up to 70 billion forints (170 million euros) under a bilateral agreement with Kyiv.
Orban regularly condemns the European strategy, albeit voting in favor of all European sanctions on the side of his partners, while maintaining good relations with the Kremlin.
He believes that the sanctions are the main reason for the economic setbacks suffered by his country, located in Central Europe. The Hungarian economy contracted in the third quarter (compared to the second quarter), while inflation exceeded 20% and even reached 45% for foodstuffs.
The government launched a “national consultation” on European sanctions against Moscow, and posters with a picture of a missile and the message “Brussels sanctions are destroying us” were spread across the capital and the rest of the country.
The Prime Minister affirmed his readiness to “fight” a possible new package of sanctions, and work to “exempt” Hungary, which is largely dependent on Russian fuel imports.
“We are now providing destructive weapons, training Ukrainian soldiers on our soil, and imposing energy sanctions… We have become an integral part of the conflict,” Orban said on the radio.
He concluded by saying, “We have not been shot yet, but we are about to become a belligerent country. Europe is playing a very dangerous game.”