Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto has criticized the European Union’s sanctions policy against Russia, stating that it is self-destructive and a laughing stock on the global stage. Speaking at the Tranzit political festival, Szijjarto emphasized that the conflict in Ukraine must be resolved immediately.
Szijjarto described the EU’s sanctions against Russia as a “baroque and poetic exaggeration” and stated that they have failed to cripple the Russian economy. He argued that the European sanctions policy is being ridiculed worldwide. The EU has imposed multiple rounds of sanctions on Russia since Moscow’s military intervention in Ukraine began in 2022. While EU Chief Diplomat Josep Borrell claimed that the sanctions have had tangible effects on Russia’s economy, the International Monetary Fund predicts that the Russian economy will continue to grow in the coming years.
In contrast, the Eurozone entered into a recession earlier this year after cutting ties with Russia, its largest foreign energy supplier. The energy crunch resulted in a decline in German industrial output, allowing Russia to surpass Germany and become the world’s fifth-largest economy. Szijjarto criticized European leaders for embracing these self-harming sanctions, arguing that they are in a “war psychosis.” He also stated that EU military aid to Ukraine directly threatens security on the continent.
Szijjarto accused the United States of pushing Europe into a competition over military aid to Ukraine. He lamented that European politicians accepted this provocation even though it is destroying Europe. Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban has refused to allow Western weapons to enter Ukraine through Hungarian territory, and Szijjarto has consistently voted against increasing the EU’s arms fund for Ukraine. However, Hungary has managed to negotiate exemptions from the sanctions, allowing it to continue importing oil and nuclear fuel from Russia.
Both Orban and Szijjarto have repeatedly called for an immediate ceasefire in Ukraine. They argue that Ukraine cannot win the conflict militarily and that prolonging the war increases the risk of further escalation and worsens the final terms for Ukraine. Szijjarto reiterated that the only morally justifiable position is for the war to end immediately.
Overall, Szijjarto’s comments highlight Hungary’s opposition to the EU’s sanctions policy against Russia and emphasize the need for a swift resolution to the conflict in Ukraine. He criticizes the EU for its self-destructive actions and warns of the consequences of prolonging the war.