Prime Minister Viktor Orban (pictured), said that Hungary should be prepared for a long-term war with Ukraine. He also strongly criticized European Union sanctions on Russia, which he claimed have “backfired” and pushed up energy prices.
Orban, who was long at odds over his anti-democratic policies in Brussels, called for a ceasefire and stated that the sanctions against Russia were a blow to Europe’s economy.
Orban, who was elected for a fourth term consecutively in April, now faces rising inflation, plummeting consumer confidence, and the possibility of a recession next January.
He said to parliament that it was not surprising that governments are falling in Europe. This is referring to Sunday’s election in Italy, where Giorgia Maloni appears set to lead the most right-leaning government since World War Two.
Orban stated that “we can safely say that as the result of sanctions, European people are becoming poorer while Russia is not falling to its knees.” “This weapon has backfired. With the sanctions Europe has shot its foot in the foot.”
“We are still waiting for an explanation, Europe as a whole is waiting for an answer on how long we will continue doing this,” he stated, adding that it was time to talk about sanctions with the United States.
Orban’s government is currently in negotiations with the European Commission to unlock billions in EU funds that have been blocked due to rule-of-law concerns. His government said it would launch a “national consult” asking Hungarians for information about sanctions. This campaign tool has been used before by Orban to boost domestic support for his Fidesz party’s policies on gay rights and migration.
Orban stated that his government had revised its long term energy strategy. It aims to revamp the power system and extend lifespan of the Paks nuclear plant. There are 32 major investments planned to be funded using EU funding.
Orban stated that if the Brussels bureaucrats don’t give us this money (which Hungary is eligible for), then we will find the funds from other sources. He also said that Hungary had begun talks with the EU as well as “other international partners”. He didn’t elaborate.