Szijjártó tells lawmakers Hungary won't vote for latest EU sanctions


Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Péter Szijjártó

Photo by Botár

Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Péter Szijjártó told lawmakers in parliament on Monday that Hungary will not vote for the European Commission's latest package of sanctions against Russia because the measures "create problems for the country without presenting solutions", according to a report by state news wire MTI.

Reiterating the position voiced by Prime Minister Viktor Orbán in a weekly radio interview on Friday, Szijjártó said the latest sanctions package would be "like dropping a nuclear bomb on the Hungarian economy", ruining its stable energy supply and making it "impossible" to get the crude necessary for the economy to function.

He noted that Hungary had supported all five sanctions packages tabled by Brussels so far, but said ensuring Hungary's secure energy supply is "a red line". The security of that supply is determined by Hungary's geographical location and the way it takes delivery from oil and gas fields, he added.

Landlocked Hungary gets its crude and gas via pipelines, and almost two-thirds of its oil comes from Russia, he said. Accepting the EC's proposal on the oil embargo would raise prices at the pump to HUF 700/liter for gasoline and HUF 800/liter for diesel, while refitting the country's main refinery to take crude from other sources would take "at least five years", he added.

Szijjártó said EU heads of state and government had earlier agreed to weigh member states' divergent means of energy supply when taking decisions, but this consensus was violated by the EC's latest proposal to phase in an embargo on Russian crude.

From the start, Hungary's position on the war has been clear: to achieve peace as soon as possible, he said. That's why it supports all diplomatic efforts that could lead to a negotiated end to the war, he added.

Hungarians can't be made to pay the price of the war, he told MPs. 

"We condemn Russia's military aggression against Ukraine. We stand by the sovereignty of Ukraine, and we are undertaking a humanitarian campaign on an unprecedented scale," he added.

He said the number of refugees from the war in Ukraine who have arrived in Hungary is "close to 700,000".


Business Sentiment Up, Consumer Confidence Down in September Analysis

Business Sentiment Up, Consumer Confidence Down in September

Horthy Statue to be Unveiled in Parliament Parliament

Horthy Statue to be Unveiled in Parliament

UPS Appoints Regional Director Appointments

UPS Appoints Regional Director

Completion of Metro Line M3 Renovation Delayed City

Completion of Metro Line M3 Renovation Delayed


Producing journalism that is worthy of the name is a costly business. For 27 years, the publishers, editors and reporters of the Budapest Business Journal have striven to bring you business news that works, information that you can trust, that is factual, accurate and presented without fear or favor.
Newspaper organizations across the globe have struggled to find a business model that allows them to continue to excel, without compromising their ability to perform. Most recently, some have experimented with the idea of involving their most important stakeholders, their readers.
We would like to offer that same opportunity to our readers. We would like to invite you to help us deliver the quality business journalism you require. Hit our Support the BBJ button and you can choose the how much and how often you send us your contributions.