Brussels’ sanctions caused crisis – Orban 

The Hungarian PM reportedly wants his party to prioritize the lifting of restrictions on trade with Russia 

The EU leadership caused a continent-wide crisis by imposing sanctions on Russian energy, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban has said.

The Eurosceptic politician criticized Brussels on his Facebook page on Wednesday evening as he announced a meeting with members of the ruling coalition in the parliament. According to local media, during the closed-door gathering, he blamed EU bureaucrats for the hardships that member states, including Hungary, currently face.

Orban told MPs from his Fidesz party and the allied Christian Democrats (KDNP) that if the EU’s sanctions on Russia were dropped, gas prices would go down by one-half, and as a result, inflation would also decline, Magyar Nemzet daily reported. 

The Hungarian PM said the EU leadership promised in early summer that the sanctions would hurt Russia’s economy, not people in the EU, but the opposite has occurred, according to the report. Orban predicted that dropping the sanctions would allow the EU to avoid a recession.

In November, there will be a meaningful opportunity for the EU to reconsider the restrictions on trading with Russia, Orban reportedly said, and the ruling Hungarian coalition should work hard to have them lifted by the end of the year.

The prime minister also lashed out at the Hungarian opposition, accusing them of backing Brussels’ policies without giving a second thought to the damage they are causing to the country, Magyar Nemzet said. He also outlined a number of measures, such as energy subsidies, which the Fidesz–KDNP government is taking to alleviate the effects of the skyrocketing prices, the newspaper reported.


READ MORE: EU brands its own member state an ‘autocracy’

Orban, who was re-elected in a landslide victory in April, is an outspoken critic of the EU leadership. He has called the bloc the main loser in the Russia-Ukraine conflict, in which it sided with Kiev. The sanctions were imposed by Brussels in retaliation for Russia’s decision to send troops into Ukraine in late February.

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