Goodfriend: Hungary should back EU on sanctions

World

U.S. Chargé d'Affaires André Goodfriend criticized Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban's policies towards Russia and called on the Hungarian government to unequivocally back EU sanctions against Russia at a press conference in Budapest on Friday.

Goodfriend said Hungary should not question the EU's decision to sanction Russia over events in Ukraine. He criticized the Hungarian government's support for the South Stream gas pipeline from Russia, and said there was a lack of transparency in the the deal to contract Russia's Rosatom to build new reactors at Hungary's Paks nuclear plant. He said the American government had discussed its concerns with the Hungarian government.

Goodfriend stressed that displeasure with Hungary's policies had nothing to do with the banning of six Hungarians from traveling to the U.S., based on American charges of corruption. He said that ban was related to the actions of those individuals, who he still declined to name.

Goodfriend was quoted by Reuters as saying the Hungarian government should "stand firm with the EU, with EU sanctions." He was also quoted as criticizing the Hungarian government's "calls for autonomy among Hungarian ethnic nationals in Ukraine," saying, "This is not the time to have that discussion."

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