Meanwhile, the Prime Minister said that "Even if it wanted to, Hungary couldn't put military equipment at the disposal of others, but it doesn't want to."Continue reading
Hungary continues to need Russian gas and oil and will not join the US which imposed sanctions on the imports of those products yesterday, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán said in a video on Facebook on Wednesday.
European diplomacy is “working at full capacity” this week, Orbán said, referring to a summit with the Visegrad Group prime ministers and their UK counterpart, Boris Johnson, on Tuesday, talks with three European heads of state and European Council head Charles Michel on Wednesday, and a meeting of the European Council on Thursday in Paris.
The efforts focus on creating peace, “however, we have to put at least as much energy into [reviewing] the economic consequences,” he said.
The sanctions imposed on Russia already have grave consequences, which can turn dire if they are expanded to include the imports of Russian oil and gas, Orbán said.
Hungary would be especially severely hit, as 85 percent of the gas and 64 percent of the oil consumed in the country comes from Russia. Some 85 percent of Hungarian households uses gas as a primary source of energy, he said.
Prime Minister Viktor Orbán on Wednesday participated in a video conference together with European Council President Charles Michel and the prime ministers of Slovakia, Ireland, and Spain, in preparation for an extraordinary European Union summit scheduled for Thursday, the PM’s press chief said in a statement.
Orbán said peace was in Hungary’s interest and he called for the swiftest possible end to the war in Ukraine through negotiations, the statement said.
Orbán said extending sanctions to cover the energy sector would result in a disproportionately large burden on families and businesses.
The statement said the other leaders were in agreement.
“The Hungarian government will not allow Hungarians to be forced to pay the price of war,” he said.
Hungary condemns Russia’s armed attack on Ukraine and will provide every assistance to people fleeing from the war, Orbán said. But when it comes to sanctions, it must be recognised that the bulk of Hungary’s gas and oil supplies are from Russia, he added, and 90 percent of Hungarian homes rely on gas heating.
“The Hungarian economy would grind to a halt with no gas or oil,” the prime minister said.
Featured photo by Zoltán Fischer/PM’s Press Office