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Fully 85% of Budapest residents want peace to be forged between Russia and Ukraine, while 63% see sanctions on Russia as excessive or sufficient already, the Századvég Foundation said on Friday, revealing its latest survey.
Fully 78% expressed opposition to the European Union and its member states buying weapons for Ukraine, and 76% objected to the EU training Ukrainian soldiers. The think-tank said Gergely Karácsony, the mayor of Budapest, had “created the impression” that the views of Budapest residents were at odds with the pro-peace government in respect of the war. During an official visit to Kyiv, Karácsony said: “The Hungarian people are not synonymous with the Hungarian government” and “the majority of the people of Budapest understand exactly what is happening in Ukraine,” the think-tank added.
Such comments prompted Századvég to conduct a survey of Budapest adults on issues related to the war in Ukraine in December, its statement said.
Accordingly, there is a dim view of top politicians who back the continuation of the war, it said. Meanwhile, 82% of respondents in the capital had a negative view of Russian President Vladimir Putin, while 57% saw US President Joe Biden in a bad light. Fully 52% had an unfavourable view of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. Some 65% of Budapest residents said they were against Hungarian taxpayers’ money being used to finance Ukraine and 66% said that Brussels was acting in a unfair manner holding back some of the EU funds allocated for Hungary and Poland, Századvég said. It added that some 56% of Budapest residents expressed agreement with the way that Prime Minister Viktor Orbán had handled the situation developed as a result of the Russian-Ukraine crisis.