Hungary’s government supports the draft resolution on the Russia-Ukraine war before parliament and believes that an urgent ceasefire and peace talks are needed, the head of the Prime Minister’s Office said on Thursday. The government expects a protracted war and continued economic difficulties resulting from the sanctions imposed in connection with the conflict, Gergely Gulyás told a regular government press briefing. Hungary’s position on the war is clear, he said, noting that the country condemned Russian aggression and provided humanitarian assistance to Ukraine. Hungary will also make financial contributions to ensure that the Ukrainian state stays operational, he added. Gulyás said it had become clear in the debate on the draft resolution submitted by the ruling parties that the left continued to support sanctions and would deliver weapons to Ukraine, thereby “dragging Hungary into the war”. He said the sanctions had resulted in record-high inflation, but expressed hope that measures introduced by the government could help bring it down into the single digits “by the last month of the year”. He said high inflation in Hungary was rooted “mostly in external causes”, adding that the country was “close to the war” and it was largely dependent on energy imports. He also added, however, that inflation may have peaked and noted that it had “modestly decreased” in February.
Making decisions to rein in inflation as early as possible and helping families and small ventures was a priority for the government, he said. Among measures, Gulyás mentioned that the government would raise allocations to the Baross Gábor corporate loan programme to 1,000 billion forints (EUR 2.6bn) to help companies with investment projects and working capital loans. He added that loans could be both euro-and forint-based, taken out with a preferential interest rate — 3-3.5% for euro- and 6-6.5% for forint-based loans.