Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto met with his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov in New York and said that he did not support new EU sanctions, European Pravda reported.
“The only solution to war inflation and spiralling energy prices is peace. Hungary wants peace. Using the UN, I told this to my colleague Sergei Lavrov, unfortunately as the only EU Foreign Minister,” he wrote on his FB page.
Their meeting came just hours after EU Commission spokesperson Peter Stano told reporters that “it doesn’t make much sense to communicate with the Russian leadership right now because Putin yesterday [21 Sept] confirmed very clearly for the whole world, exactly on World Day of Peace, that he’s interested not in peace but in a continuation of his aggression in violation of the UN Charter.” Stano referred to Russian President Putin’s decision to announce mobilization for Russia’s war against Ukraine.
After the meeting, Szijjarto told reporters that he discussed energy cooperation, the war in Ukraine, and economic issues with Lavrov, Index writes.
“Our position is very clear. We see no reasonable reason to discuss another package of sanctions, especially when it comes to energy,” he said.
Szijjarto said that ensuring energy supply is one of the most important things for Hungary.
“This is a clear red line for us. We do not want the Hungarian people to pay for a war they have nothing to do with. Of course, if there is a draft project [on sanctions – Ed.], we will participate in discussions, but we will not agree to anything that would contradict our national interests,” he said.
According to Szijjarto, the European economy is moving towards recession. “I believe that this is completely contrary to the interests of Europe and the peoples living in it,” the Minister added.
The European Union has confirmed that it is preparing the eighth package of sanctions against Russia for its war against Ukraine.
However, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban launched a campaign at home to criticize any energy sanctions against Russia. Hungary forced a delay in the adoption of the EU crude oil sanctions package in June and signed it only after obtaining exemptions that still allowed Budapest to access pipeline oil.