Orbán meets with V4, U.K. counterparts in London

Int’l Relations

Photo by MTI/Prime Minister's Press Office/Zoltán Fischer

Prime Minister Viktor Orbán met with his counterparts from the Visegrád Group and the U.K. at a summit in London on Tuesday, according to a report by state news wire MTI.

In a video message posted on Facebook after the V4-U.K. summit and bilateral talks with U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson that followed, Orbán said the topic of war "eclipsed all other matters".

"It is clear that all of us are interested in the same thing, for this war to end as soon as possible by way of negotiations," Orbán said.

"They, as well as us, will make every effort in the coming weeks to see peace restored," he added.

He said the impact of economic sanctions, which "all of Europe is suffering", was also discussed.

"Extending the sanctions further to the energy sector, to the oil and gas sector, would mean a disproportionately large burden for Hungary," Orbán said.

"That's why I made it clear that while we condemn Russia's military attack, and condemn the war, too, we will not allow Hungarian families to pay the price of the war," he added.

"These sanctions may not be extended to the areas of oil and gas. Hungary gets a large part of its oil and gas from Russia, and 90% of Hungarian families heat with gas. Without gas and oil, the Hungarian economy will simply not function," Orbán said.

The U.K. Prime Minister's Office said in a press release after the meeting between Johnson and Orbán that the leaders "condemned Russia's abhorrent actions in Ukraine and said Putin must stop his barbaric campaign".

"Both agreed that Russia's destabilizing across Europe needed to be countered, including by deepening cyber resilience ties between the United Kingdom and Hungary," the office added.

Setting out the United Kingdom's plans to "go harder and faster on sanctions", Johnson said he believed "it is key the United Kingdom and Hungary work together on how they could reduce dependency on Russian gas and oil."

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