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Government to conduct ’National Consultation’ on EU sanctions

September 24th, 2022

Opinions diverge sharply on the government’s claim that western sanctions do more harm to EU countries than to Russia and should therefore be scrapped.

Addressing his MPs on Wednesday, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán said sanctions imposed on Russia should be abandoned as they are causing dangerous disruptions in European economies. On Thursday, Fidesz floor leader Máté Kocsis told the press that the Fidesz and Christian Democrat parliamentary groups have asked the government to launch a “National Consultation” to ask the public what they think of European Union sanctions against Russia.

In Népszava, Tamás Rónay accuses the government of not even denying its role as ‘Putin’s vassal’. He asks why the government has voted for all the sanctions imposed on Russia by the European Union if it deems them so harmful. The left-wing commentator adds that there are no sanctions on natural gas, and if gas prices have surged it is due to Russia’s use of gas as a tool for political blackmail. He fears that the government is abandoning ‘the European way of thinking’.

In Magyar Nemzet, on the other hand, Gergely Kiss argues that gas prices have risen to record levels because European leaders declared their intention to stop importing natural gas from Russia. He believes that Europe could express its condemnation of the Russian aggression and solidarity toward Ukraine without being compelled to close down businesses,  He welcomes the idea of offering Hungarians an opportunity to support the government on this issue.

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