Viktor Orbán has called for a Russia-Ukraine ceasefire and peace talks, and he has asked the central bank governor and the finance minister to take measures to reduce inflation “by half at the least” before the end of 2023.
Ceasefire and peace talks would result in economic relief, the prime minister said. As long as the war continues and the West responds by employing sanctions, neither inflation nor energy prices will fall, he said, insisting that Brussels had “messed up” sanctions and they were not coupled with proposals for price cuts, with Hungary having to pay extra for energy as a result. Whereas Hungary has been exempted from all sanctions that affect its energy market negatively the problem remains that since the country is part of a common European market it is still affected by the high energy prices, Orbán said. The ultimate solution to combatting high energy prices would be if the European Union dropped its sanctions policy, Orbán said. However, “a great struggle” would be needed for this to happen, he added. “There are those who talk about having to win the war but others, including Hungary, say that what’s needed is an immediate ceasefire followed by peace talks,” he said.