Hungarian Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Peter Szijjarto has stated that Budapest is not alone in its reluctance to slap sanctions on Russian energy exporters, but that other countries, who are under the influence of the “liberal mainstream,” don’t dare to pursue policies based on their own interests.
Speaking at the TRANZIT public forum in Tihany, Hungary on Saturday, Szijjarto said that he would like to clarify that his country is “not even willing to negotiate any further sanctions” pertaining to the oil and gas sector.
“And I want to say that we are not alone in this,” the top Hungarian diplomat stressed, recalling an episode during a recent EU ministerial meeting, which focused on “the issue of limiting oil from Russia.”
According to Szijjarto, during the gathering, “several colleagues” approached him and said, “Peter, you are against it [sanctions on Russian oil exports], right? We are with you.”
“Those who tell the truth are under such amazing pressure from the liberal mainstream that if there is no political stability of a certain level and, as a result, political courage in the country, they simply do not dare to act in their own interests,” the Hungarian foreign minister pointed out.
During the speech, Szijjarto also gave his thoughts on how long Europe will hinge on Russian oil and gas. He argued that “as long as gas cannot be transported by train or in a backpack, Europe will not be able to get rid of dependence on Russian energy resources.”
Last month, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban
insisted that while the sanctions had failed to destabilize Moscow, “Europe is in trouble, economically and politically, and four governments have become victims: UK, Bulgarian, Italian and Estonian.”
Also in July, Russian President Vladimir Putin
admitted that sanctions damage the country’s economy and many risks still remain, but that these restrictive measures inflict more damage on those who imposed them.
Sanctions against Russia were slapped by the US and its allies in late February, shortly after Moscow launched its special operation
to demilitarize and de-Nazify Ukraine. In the wake of the West’s anti-Russian restrictive measures, inflation skyrocketed in many Western countries, driving energy prices there to record numbers.