Hungary Orban demands EU sanctions against Russia be lifted: reports
Orban, based on his argument that the sanctions would harm Europe, stresses on the suggestion behind a closed-door meeting with his party.
Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban is demanding EU sanctions against Russia be lifted by the end of the year, according to a pro-Budapest daily newspaper on Thursday.
Orban has been advocating against the European Union's sanctions against Russia, stressing that they hurt European interests and benefit Russia instead.
According to the newspaper Magyar Nemzet, Orban urged members of his party, the Fidesz party, in a meeting behind closed doors, to advocate for lifting the sanctions.
"According to our information... Orban called on the members of the Fidesz faction to do their utmost to ensure that Europe lifts these sanctions by the end of the year at the latest," the newspaper wrote.
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On their part, the government confirmed the article's content.
Orban's party has also recently announced that it will be launching a national public consultation regarding the sanctions, which is a method used to denounce the EU's racist migration policy. This would enable the Hungarian people to voice their opinion regarding the sanctions, according to Mate Kocsis, the head of the Fidesz party's parliamentary group.
"It is not normal that sanctions are only decided by the Brussels elite," Kocsis said.
Peter Szijjarto, Hungarian foreign minister, said that sanctions will "deepen difficulties."
"Europe is suffering more from the restrictions imposed in response to the war in Ukraine than Russia, and therefore the eighth package of sanctions should be forgotten," he said at the UN General Assembly in New York.
Czech European affairs minister, Mikulas Bek, has recently warned that Hungary's stance on Russia and the conflict in Ukraine could potentially see it exiting the European Union.
EU may approve more sanctions against Russia in October
During a meeting in the Czech Republic which will take place between October 6 and 7, leaders from European Union countries may approve new measures against Russia, including an oil price cap - which will worsen the energy crisis - and individual sanctions.
Reuters said that the European Commission is expected to submit a written proposal with restrictive measures against Russia to Union leaders, which would then be approved in Prague.
Unnamed EU officials said that the Union has been considering putting a price cap on Russian oil, restricting high-tech exports from the EU to Russia, in addition to implementing strict measures against Russian individuals.
The European Union on Wednesday threatened Russia with new sanctions in the event of referenda in the LPR, DPR, Kherson, and Zaporozhye regions.