Hungary opposes the automatic extension of sanctions against Russia

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Due to the EU sanctions against Russia Hungary has lost nearly seven billion euros in revenue in the past two and half years.

Hungary continues to stick to the unity of the European Union policy on sanctions against Russia, but is of the opinion that the EU should not automatically extend the punitive measures imposed on Russia because of the Ukrainian crisis said Gyula Budai to the press on Friday in Berlin after meeting German Government Commissioner for Relations with Russia.

Budai said he made it clear to his German counterpart that Hungary continues to disagree with the EU’s sanctions policy because the Hungarian government believes that "a political crisis can not be solved with economic punitive measures". At the same time, it sticks to the unity of the EU policy on sanctions; but it calls for a debate on the issue instead of automatically renewing the sanctions.

All Member States should be given the opportunity to express their views on the issue of sanctions thus providing an opportunity to the EU to come to a common agreement on the future of sanctions said Budai.

He also remarked that Germany rejects a recent American proposal to link the lifting of sanctions to Moscow’s willingness to start negotiations with US on nuclear disarmament because these issues are unrelated.

Germany too suffered considerable losses as a result of sanctions. German exports to Russia halved compared to 80 billion euro in 2014. However, we must not forget that for Hungary, because of its open economic policy, export is much more important than other countries - it is the country’s largest source of revenue. Hungary is also closer to the Ukrainian trouble spot; as a result, the EU's sanctions against Russia affecting Hungary more deeply than other member states said Commissioner Gyula Budai.

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