Russia’s ambassador to Budapest, Evgeny Stanislavov, arrived one year ago in a much more peaceful time. He talked now to Ria Novosti, the Russian news agency, about his work in Hungary and the policy of the Hungarian Government. Interestingly, he praised the government even though Hungary is a NATO member state and the Russian-NATO relationship resembles the way it was around the Cold War due to the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
According to Magyar Hang, Mr Stanislavov gave a detailed interview to the Russian news agency, Ria Novosty. One of the interview’s highlights was the ambassador’s claim that the Kremlin had no reason to distrust the Orbán cabinet. On the other hand, he added that the leadership of Russia is displeased because Hungary supported the EU sanctions. However, Stanislavov believes Brussels forced Hungary to accept those sanctions.
The Russian ambassador also added that Hungary did not support sanctions on the Russian energy sector, on gas, oil and nuclear power plants. As the media reported many times before, Hungary is highly dependent on Russian energy. PM Viktor Orbán and members of his cabinet regularly stress that without the cheap Russian energy supply, the Hungarian households would have to pay much higher utility prices. Moreover, it would also hinder the development of the Hungarian economy. Orbán won a landslide victory in Sunday’s general elections, so seemingly people believed the government’s narrative.
Ambassador Stanislavov reminded us that Hungary would become paralysed without Russian energy sources. The country gets 85 pc of its gas and 55 pc of its oil demand from Russia. Meanwhile, the nuclear power plant in Paks produces 52 pc of the country’s energy consumption. Without these sources, the Hungarian economy would quickly become destabilised. Furthermore, Hungarian household demands will not be met. Therefore, the ambassador believes there would be no sanctions on the Russian energy sector on Hungary’s part after the elections.
He called the extension of the Paks nuclear power plant (Paks 2) the flagship of the Russia-Hungary energy cooperation. He said Russia offered cheap loans for the project which would create jobs for the Hungarian SME sector. However, he added that due to the Hungary-supported EU sanctions, the project would need modifications. Nevertheless, there will surely be a solution for that since it serves the interest of both parties – he highlighted.
The Russian ambassador was not surprised that Ukrainian President Zelenskiy wanted to interfere in the Hungarian elections. Members of the government brought up that claim several times last week, and even Viktor Orbán mentioned Zelenskiy’s attacks against him and his cabinet in his victory speech last Sunday. Mr Stanislavov repeated what the Orbán cabinet emphasised during the election campaign: the Ukrainian President and the Hungarian joint opposition’s PM candidate, Péter Márki-Zay, made a pact. According to the Russian diplomat, Márki-Zay agreed to send weapons and soldiers to support the Ukrainian army. It matches up with what Fidesz said during the election campaign, even though Márki-Zay denied the allegations.
Source: Magyar Hang