Hungary is setting new conditions for approval of the sixth package of sanctions against Russia, it was revealed at a meeting of EU ambassadors on Wednesday, where diplomats had wanted to finalize the measures approved by EU heads of state and government on Monday night.
Hungary’s bone of contention was the inclusion of Patriarch Kirill of Moscow on the list of Russian individuals subject to sanctions, with a representative of the Hungarian government asking for the Russian Orthodox bishop to be removed.
Although Budapest had previously stated that it did not support sanctioning religious leaders, and Viktor Orbán mentioned that doing so would amount to Christian persecution, he did not threaten another veto over it at the summit in Brussels. As a result, Hungary’s objection came as a surprise to diplomats.
Ambassadors will continue their talks in Luxembourg on Thursday, with the French, currently holding the rotating EU presidency, working on a compromise, according to Népszava‘s sources. [Népszava]