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Foreign minister: Hungary won’t block new EU sanctions package against Russia

by Kateryna Denisova February 19, 2024 11:08 PM 2 min read
EU Commissioner for Neighbourhood and Enlargement Oliver Varhelyi (L) is talking with Hungarian Foreign Minister Fidesz Peter Szijjarto (R) before a meeting of EU foreign ministers in Brussels on Feb. 19. (Photo by Thierry Monasse/Getty Images)
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Budapest will not block the 13th package of the European Union’s sanctions against Russia, Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto said at a press conference on Feb. 19.

His statement came after the Financial Times reported that Hungary had allegedly blocked the approval of the EU’s latest package of sanctions against Russia due to the presence of Chinese companies on the list.

According to Szijjarto, Budapest will not obstruct the approval, as all elements of the sanctions package that "harmed Hungarian interests have been removed” and the updated package does not "affect the basic economic interests” of his country.

However, he once again criticized the European Union, calling the sanctions against Russia "a failed strategy that distances us from peace."

The European Commission aims to have the 13th sanctions package in place to mark the second anniversary of the full-scale invasion on Feb. 24.

The package includes restrictions against almost 200 people and companies from Russia, China, and other countries helping Moscow's war effort, according to the FT.

Hungary has consistently opposed sanctions on Russia and maintained close relations with Moscow since the full-scale invasion began in 2022. Budapest has nonetheless eventually voted for the previous 12 sanctions packages, but only after extracting some concessions or exceptions.

Hungarian far-right leader calls for seizure of Ukraine’s Zakarpattia Oblast if Russia wins war
The Our Homeland party, which currently holds six seats out of a total of 199 in Hungary’s parliament, has been criticized for its nativist views and rhetoric. Party leader Laszlo Toroczkai has made a number of controversial statements, including some deemed to be antisemitic, anti-Roma, and anti-im…

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