Hungary continues to need Russian gas and oil and will not join the US which imposed sanctions on the imports of those products yesterday, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán said in a video on Facebook on Wednesday.
European diplomacy is “working at full capacity” this week, Orbán said, referring to a summit with the Visegrad Group prime ministers and their UK counterpart, Boris Johnson, on Tuesday, talks with three European heads of state and European Council head Charles Michel on Wednesday, and a meeting of the European Council on Thursday in Paris.
The efforts focus on creating peace,
“however, we have to put at least as much energy into [reviewing] the economic consequences,”
The sanctions imposed on Russia already have grave consequences, which can turn dire if they are expanded to include the imports of Russian oil and gas, Orbán said. Hungary would be especially severely hit, as 85 percent of the gas and 64 percent of the oil consumed in the country comes from Russia. Some
85 percent of Hungarian households uses gas as a primary source of energy,
Meanwhile, Parliament’s foreign affairs committee on Wednesday approved the submission of a draft political statement on the Russia-Ukraine war to parliament. The draft statement was approved unanimously by the committee’s ruling Fidesz and Christian Democrat members, while the body’s opposition members stayed away from the debate.
The statement declares Hungary’s condemnation of Russia’s military intervention and stands by the inviolability of Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. It urges an immediate cessation of hostilities and the start of peace talks.
According to the statement, Hungary as a member of NATO expresses its agreement with the “responsible remarks” of the alliance’s leaders that the conflict must not spread to the alliance’s member states. As a member of the United Nations, the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, the Council of Europe and the European Union, Hungary also expresses its support for all joint efforts aimed at returning to peace as soon as possible.
The document also declares that Hungary must stay out of the war and that no one can be allowed to drag the country into the conflict.
It underlines that Hungary will not send troops to Ukraine, send weapons on a bilateral basis or allow lethal aid to cross its border with Ukraine.
The statement calls on public figures and the media to refrain from remarks that would endanger the security of Hungary and the Hungarian people, as well as dangerous and irresponsible remarks and demands that Hungary send troops and weapons to the war.
It also calls for “responsible behaviour” in the interest of
protecting the ethnic Hungarian community in western Ukraine’s Transcarpathia region.
The document notes that Hungary urges the start of Ukraine’s accession process to the EU and that it considers it a duty to help every Hungarian, Ukrainian or other national who flees to Hungary from war.
Meanwhile, László Brenzovics, head of the Transcarpathian Hungarian Cultural Association (KMKSZ), briefed the committee on the current situation in western Ukraine. So far some 2 million people have moved to the western part of the country, Brenzovics said. Citing estimates, he said
between 5 and 7 million people are expected to flee Ukraine. Transcarpathia has so far welcomed 100,000-200,000 internally displaced people,