The head of the Association of Cities with County Rights (MJVSZ) on Wednesday called on Budapest to support a petition sent to the European Commission president urging the body to change its sanctions policy. Károly Szita, who is also the mayor of Kaposvár, in southern Hungary, noted that in early October he had sent the letter asking Ursula von der Leyen to change the EU’s sanctions policy and unlock funding for Hungary. The petition has been signed by 2,551 local councils, or 80% of the total, he added. But this “unprecedented” show of unity is missing the largest city council, Budapest, Szita said, adding that it was not too late for the capital to join in. Szita said the issue of soaring energy prices caused by Brussels’ sanctions policy transcended party lines. “We ask Budapest’s leadership to put aside everyday politics and join our petition,” he said. “Let’s stand shoulder to shoulder in this struggle to get Brussels’ sanctions policy to aid rather than hurt Hungarian localities.” “It has become clear by now that the flawed sanctions policy will bring Europe to ruin,” Szita said. The funds which Hungarians are entitled to but are being withheld could have by now resulted in completed energy conservation projects, he added.