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Europe must not impose sanctions in connection with the war in Ukraine “with which we primarily penalise ourselves instead of those we want to sanction", the prime minister’s chief of staff said over the weekend.

Hungarians must not be made to pay the price of war, Gergely Gulyás told public broadcaster Kossuth Radio. This can be prevented “if we can continue to buy our energy at the cheapest possible price”, he added. The European Union should therefore not approve sanctions that would make it impossible for member states to import Russian oil and gas, Gulyás said. Otherwise Hungary would have to buy this energy at much higher prices, which would make it impossible to uphold household utility price caps and the economy could not function, either, he added.
The EU has not approved any type of sanctions that would make it impossible for a member state to pay in roubles for Russian gas, Gulyás said, noting that such a transaction between a state and a company is governed by an agreement subject to civil law. Gulyás said the Hungarian state was in fact not paying in roubles for Russian gas, but had opened a euro account with Gazprom Bank which converts the euros transferred to its account by the Hungarian state into roubles.