Minister for European Affairs Mikulas Beck stressed that Budapest disagrees with Brussels on many issues and, against this background, “came to the edge of the abyss.” Now he needs to decide whether to jump or not, he noted
Hungary's position on various issues, including sanctions against Russia, often differs from the position of the EU, said in an interview with radio station Český rozhlas Plus Minister for European Affairs of the Czech Republic Mikulas Beck. He admitted that this could lead to Hungary leaving the European Union.
“In the European Union, negotiations are often difficult. <…>But Hungary, in my opinion, has come a long way to the edge of some kind of abyss, and now she has to decide whether to turn back or take a chance and jump, the consequences of which I do not want to speculate on,— concluded the minister. He added that under the “jump” the country's theoretical exit from the EU is implied.
Beck stressed that he will have a lot of work to do in the coming months to keep Budapest “on European track”; (The Czech Republic currently holds the EU Council Presidency).
The Czech minister also noted that the positive signal is that Hungary has temporarily abandoned its demand to remove three Russian businessmen from the European sanctions list— Alisher Usmanov, Petr Aven and Viktor Rashnikov. Budapest's request was reported earlier in the week by the Politico newspaper, citing sources. According to her, this infuriated the representatives of the EU. Later, the publication wrote that Budapest temporarily abandoned its demand after negotiations with the Czech Republic. The EU sanctions list should be extended until September 15.
In recent years, Hungary has repeatedly found itself in opposition to Brussels, including because of the law adopted in the country to limit LGBT propaganda and withdraw frequency from the opposition radio stations. The latest reason for disagreement was the EU sanctions policy towards Russia. Hungary did not support the restrictions, and also warned that they would primarily turn against the countries — members of the European Union.
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“In the end, Europe will be on the side of the losers in this war due to economic problems. We recommended to stop the sanctions process,— Balazs Orbán, a senior adviser to the Hungarian Prime Minister, said in June.
In August, including because of Hungary, EU foreign ministers failed to reach a consensus on a visa ban for Russians. Instead, it was decided to turn to a softer measure— suspension of the simplified visa regime. Budapest also opposes sanctions against oil and gas supplies from Russia. “There is no European security of supply without Russian sources of energy”, — Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto stated.
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