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The extension of European Union sanctions to Russian gas and nuclear energy “would have tragic consequences for Hungary”, and the government is working to obtain exemptions, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán told public broadcaster Kossuth Rádió on Friday.
Early in the war, the EU hoped to conclude the war through sanctions or at least facilitate that goal, he said in the interview. The situation in Ukraine is becoming tougher, Orbán said. Meanwhile, although Russia had suffered losses, its energy revenues are spiking. The “sanctions policy has failed to achieve its purpose”, he said. While Hungary has achieved an exemption from the restriction on crude which will come into force on Dec. 5, and so has access to the oil necessary to run the country, it cannot extricate itself from the effects of the sanctions on prices, Orbán said.
Hungary is against the EU financing the operation of the Ukrainian state from a loan taken out jointly by its members, and stands by aid through bilateral agreements between member states and the war-torn country, Orbán said. “We would not like to see the EU become a community of states amassing joint debts,” he said. Due to the war, Ukraine is now unable to finance itself. Hungary accepts that the aid is necessary, but “we are not happy with it — without the war, we wouldn’t have this expense,” he said.