Hungary’s economy minister criticizes EU sanctions, but doesn’t reveal the right solution
Europe is paying a ‘sanctions surcharge’ on energy, so the Hungarian government is working to mitigate ‘these harmful effects’, the finance minister said after a meeting of his European Union counterparts in Luxembourg on Tuesday .
“A policy of sanctions only makes sense if it hurts the aggressor more [than the initiator] and contributes to ending the war,” said the Ministry of Finance quoting Mihaly Varga. On this basis, “the current sanctions can be declared a failure”, he added.
European sanctions against Russia have resulted in a protracted war and record revenues for Russia rather than achieving their original goal, Varga said. The Hungarian government does not support new sanctions that would jeopardize Hungary’s energy supplies and hurt Europe’s economy more than Russia, he said. In addition, he rejects any new sanctions that would remove Hungary’s exemption from the Russian oil import ban, the minister said.
As we wrote yesterday, another favor from Moscow, Hungary gets a payment extension with Gazprom.
Regarding the meeting, Varga said finance ministers reviewed a Czech proposal dubbed RePowerEU, adding that the Hungarian government supports the idea of providing member states with aid for efforts to reduce their dependence on Russian fossil fuels. Hungary had indicated its support for the Czech proposal earlier, but declined to support a related EC proposal because it was not intended to distribute funds proportionately to the cost such efforts would entail for the given country, he said. he declares. “The Hungarian government will only support a fair distribution of funds.”
Meanwhile, Varga said efforts to protect Hungary’s borders had already cost the central budget a total of 600 billion forints (1.4 billion euros) while the EU had contributed less than 2%. of this sum. He urged the EU to shoulder more of the burden.