The European Union’s sanctions against Russia are harming Europe itself, Csaba Dömötör, a cabinet parliamentary state secretary, told public broadcaster Kossuth Rádió on Sunday. “The sanctions are mighty but they don’t hit where they should,” he said, adding that they “are placing increasingly unbearable burdens on Europe’s economy”. He insisted that the largest price hikes had not been triggered by the outbreak of the war, but by “the flaunting and adoption of the sanctions”.
“There’s nobody in Europe left unaffected by an ill-advised sanctions policy, from high public utility bills through transport to agriculture,” he said. Dömötör called the sanctions “runaway means of economic self-destruction” and called for a change. While Europe’s economy is significantly slowing and unemployment is on the increase, and the euro is weakening against the dollar, Russia’s economic recession will not be as great as expected, while it has posted the second largest current account surplus in the world, the state secretary said. Russia had even been able to increase its energy revenues while selling less gas to Europe, he said, adding that energy company Gazprom had accrued 85% more revenues than before sanctions were imposed. Europe depends on Russian gas, he said. “But instead of changing direction, the EU is planning a price cap on Russian gas, which would be a sanction disguised as a trade regulation … presenting a serious risk that Russia would stop gas deliveries,” he said.