European Union sanctions against Russia have produced high inflation, an energy crisis and the threat of a European recession, László Kövér, the speaker of parliament, has said, adding that Europe had willed itself into an economic war, and the government’s chief task was to make sure a European recession on the horizon did not weigh down Hungary’s economy. Speaking in Békés County, in south-eastern Hungary, on the latest leg of his nationwide tour, the speaker said that whereas they had been “trying to convince Hungary” for a decade that “the Russians are unreliable partners”, Russian had not weaponised gas but instead the European Commission had tried to “turn it against them through sanctions”. He said, however, that Hungary’s gas supplies were secure for the time being, and gas storage was sufficient to cover 60-70 percent of annual needs.
Hungary, Kövér noted, had condemned Russia’s military aggression against Ukraine from the very beginning, adding that the national interest was for Ukraine to be independent, democratic and prosperous. Meanwhile, the Hungarian minority there should also be allowed to prosper without facing discrimination, he added.
The speaker said there were reports of a ninth EU sanctions package under way with a view to broadening the restrictions to nuclear energy. Hungary’s sole nuclear power plant can only operate with Russian fuel rods, he noted, adding that sanctions on nuclear energy would be a “disaster” both for Hungarian households and industry. Hungary can only support nuclear sanctions if the country is exempted from them, he said.
Kövér, who is also the head of the ruling Fidesz party’s national board, insisted that the Hungarian left wing was financed by George Soros and had “sided with sanctions and the war”. The speaker said there was no democratic mandate for decisions being passed in Europe today, and no attempts had been made to consult ordinary people about migration or “whether they wanted to pay the price of the sanctions”. Kövér said the government’s National Consultation survey would help the Hungarian government when it came to protecting national interests in Brussels.