Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov with his Hungarian counterpart Péter Szijjártó in Budapest in 2021
Hungarian media recently reported that Hungary has been added to Russia’s list of unfriendly countries. However, the measure is nothing new, the Russian ambassador’s comments seem to have been misinterpreted.
Hungary is classified as an unfriendly country to Russia because of its support for EU sanctions, but channels for dialogue remain open, Russian Ambassador to Hungary Evgeny Stanislavov said in an interview with RIA Novosti.
Budapest demonstrates a pragmatic position, and refuses to give it up even despite pressure from its EU and NATO allies,”
the ambassador said.
According to Stanislavov, Hungary’s policy is based on the desire to protect its interests. At the same time, the country is experiencing the negative consequences of the Ukrainian crisis and anti-Russian sanctions imposed by the EU and the US, he added.
Sanctions are having an increasingly negative impact on all areas of cooperation between Russia and Hungary, including economy, politics, culture and human contacts, the ambassador said.
The list was created after the outbreak of the war and the countries on it have been subject to a number of sanctions imposed by Russia, Index reminds. One of the most significant of these measures is that countries on the list can only pay for Russian gas in rubles. Hungary was in fact already added to the list last March.
Answering journalists’ questions on Thursday, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Péter Szijjártó said that Hungary, like all EU member states, has been on the Russian list of so-called unfriendly states for months.
There is nothing new here: despite the fact that we are on this list, our energy cooperation is going on smoothly and fairly,”
the minister said.
He emphasized that the long-term Russian gas supply contract is stable, Gazprom is a reliable partner, and the 4.5 billion cubic meters per year will ensure Hungary’s long-term security of supply.
Featured photo via Facebook/Szijjártó Péter