Hungary condemns Russia’s military attack and the war but will not allow Hungarian families to be made to pay the price of war, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán said in London on Tuesday.
The war has overwhelmed every other topic on the table, Orbán said in a video message on Facebook after a summit of the Visegrad Group and British prime ministers and his talks with UK counterpart Boris Johnson.
“It is clear that bringing an end to this war through negotiations is in all of our interests,” the prime minister said, emphasising that all efforts would be made to restoring peace over the coming weeks.
Tuesday’s talks also touched on the effects of the sanctions imposed on Russia which Orbán said would be felt by all of Europe including Hungary.
Expanding the sanctions to the energy sector, the oil and gas sectors would put a disproportionately heavy burden on Hungary, the prime minister said.
Orbán said he had made it clear that “we condemn Russia’s military attack and the war but we will not allow Hungarian families to be made to pay the price of war.”
These sanctions must not cover oil and gas imports, Orbán said. Hungary buys most of its oil and natural gas from Russia and 90 percent of Hungarian families heat their homes with gas, he said, adding that the Hungarian economy could not function without oil and gas.
Johnson: reduce dependence on Russian crude oil and natural gas supplies
Prime Minister Viktor Orbán held bilateral talks with UK counterpart Boris Johnson in London on Tuesday under the arrangements of a V4-Britain summit convened by Johnson concerning the war in Ukraine.
A Downing Street spokesman said the two prime ministers had reviewed the deteriorating situation in Ukraine and condemned Russia’s “abhorrent actions” in Ukraine, establishing that Russian President Vladimir Putin must stop the “barbaric campaign”.
Johnson presented to Orbán British plans to further increase sanctions against Russia and accelerate their introduction, the spokesman said. Cooperation between the UK and Hungary is key for finding ways to reduce dependence on Russian crude oil and natural gas supplies, Johnson said.
Downing Street said Johnson and Orbán were in agreement that efforts must be made to thwart Russia’s destabilisation activities in Europe, also by enhancing Hungarian-British relations that improve resistance to cyberattacks.
Johnson held talks with Visegrad Group prime ministers in London and met Orbán for bilateral talks after the plenary session.
In his opening statement Johnson said the V4 were “at the frontline” of the crisis in Ukraine and had to face the risk of a major humanitarian crisis. He thanked the V4 premiers for their leadership and said the UK was prepared to provide all the help it could to the four countries.
In the featured photo: PM Viktor Orbán with PM Boris Johnson before the meeting. Photo by Zoltán Fischer/PM’s Press Office