Sanctions drain 10 billion euros from Hungarian economy, says Orbán

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The sanctions policy drains 10 billion euros from the Hungarian economy a year, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán said at the Hungarian Standing Conference, according to a report by state news wire MTI.

Orbán claimed that the sanctions policy costs the central budget some 4 billion euros, money that could be used for social policy, salary increases or tax cuts, while the economy must ” swallow” a loss of 6 billion euros.

“In this light, Hungary’s anti-sanctions policy does not seem excessive,” he added.

Orbán said Hungary would not accept joint loans from European Union member states to help Ukraine. He recommended that member states decide how much they want to contribute to Ukraine’s functioning and then distribute it among themselves “proportionally and fairly”.

Hungary could make an annual contribution of HUF 60-70 billion from the central budget under a bilateral agreement with Ukraine, he added.

Hungary condemns Russia’s aggression and helps the Ukrainian people, but it is not ready to put Ukraine’s interests ahead of its own, Orbán added.

The prime minister says Hungary is close to signing an agreement on its EU support for the 2021-2027 funding cycle, but ‘cannot be sure what will be paid or what will be suspended “. This funding amounts to HUF 800 billion net per year, compared to Hungary’s GDP of HUF 62 trillion, he added.

He said Hungary “must receive” its funding from the Recovery and Resilience Facility (RRF), as these resources come from a common EU credit on which member states have previously agreed the distribution. This funding may be “delayed at most”, he added.

Orbán said EU funding cannot be used as a “blackmail tool”, adding that “we cannot be cornered”.

Hungary could fund its program to green its economy from global markets, by getting credit from countries like China, he said.

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