BUDAPEST (AA) – Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban announced Tuesday that his country is against possible sanctions on Russia that would cover imports of its oil and natural gas.
Following a meeting in London with his counterparts from fellow Visegrad Group countries Poland, the Czech Republic and Slovakia along with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, Orban said in a statement that Hungary condemns Russia’s launch of a war on Ukraine but would not allow Hungarian families “to be made to pay the price of war.”
He said it is in everyone’s interest to end the war as soon as possible and his country will make every effort to do so.
Noting that the sanctions imposed on Russia affect all countries in Europe, he said the expansion of sanctions to Russia’s energy sector will affect Hungary “very seriously.”
Orban said Hungary buys most of its oil and natural gas from Russia and 90% of Hungarian families heat their homes with gas, adding the Hungarian economy could not function without oil and gas.
Russia’s war on Ukraine, which began on Feb. 24, has drawn international condemnation, led to financial sanctions on Moscow and spurred an exodus of global firms from Russia.
At least 474 civilians have been killed and 861 injured in Ukraine since the beginning of the war, according to the UN, which noted that conditions on the ground make it difficult to verify the true number.
Some 2 million people have also fled to neighboring countries, said the UN Refugee Agency.