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Gov’t Planning National Consultation on Russian Sanctions

Fidesz parliamentary group leader Máté Kocsis announced at a press conference in Balatonalmádi that the government would be launching a new National Consultation survey on the sanctions levied against Russia. The announcement followed a meeting by ruling coalition Fidesz-KDNP’s parliamentary caucus in the resort town.

“It’s not right that only the Brussels elite have made decisions about the sanctions,” said Kocsis. “It is important to ask the people as well, because the longer this debate drags on, the more damage it will cause.”

István Simicskó, the leader of the KDNP group in Parliament, also said, “whenever important national issues have to be decided, we ask the people.” Kocsis later admitted that they did not consider the consultation a legal tool, but a political one that they can use in the EU debate on sanctions.

A previous National Consultation on the pandemic cost 11.5 billion Ft (US $27.9 million).

The thrust of the new consultation will be the sanctions on Russian energy products, Máté Kocsis said. According to 444, Hungary is the only country in Europe that wants to soften the sanctions imposed on the Russians.

The current EU sanctions package will expire on March 15, 2023, and the Council will have to vote on extending it before that time. Kocsis stated that everything possible must be done to get the European Commission to vote against further energy sanctions in November.

The European Union banned the import of Russian coal since this past August, but the ban on importing Russian crude oil and certain petroleum products will only come into force at the start of 2023. Since most of Russia’s income comes from oil, these sanctions will strike the country the hardest economically.

However, some EU member states, including Hungary, have been given an exemption from the ban on Russian oil imports. [444]

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Posted in Ukraine conflict

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2 Comments

  1. Michael Detreköy

    Fidesz (firm in the belief they “are” Hungary) continues its solitary, burlesque attitude of going against the direction in European traffic.
    They were present, but obviously not in order (it’s too difficult to represent Hungary in Europe, remember?) during the weeks in February-March when it all happened – All EU member state parliaments/governments and public media debated intensively during 2 weeks, before giving their representatives in the EP and upwards, which included Orbán, who kept his mouth shut (and public Hu in the dark) the green light for implementing sanctions – They now pretend to have overheard the starting guns at their station, but several of them voted for the sanctions at the time, which Orbán now regrets. It may serve as a kind of proof of loyalty to Putin, but for how long? Long enough for evading a direct nuclear threat to the neighborhood? An muddy stance, to say the least. After all, there was a Cold War.
    Orbán occasionally throws in a handful of sand into the EU machine, but it really doesn’t make much difference. The EU is much bigger than “a Brussels Elite” It’s more or less the world around Hungary.
    Sure, the EU can afford to support his regime – but there’s no political guarantee they will keep doing that. The big question addressed to Orbán seems more like: What’ll you do now, little you? Stay or quit?

  2. Luis

    So let me get this straight:

    1) The Hungarian government’s representatives voted in favour of all the sanctions agreed by the EU institutions. However, now they want the Hungarian people to say that they don’t want the sanctions.

    2) The Hungarian government has assured energy supply to Hungary, in spite of the sanctions, by bravely paying gas in rubles, as Putin asked; and by gaining an exemption to the Russian oil embargo. However, it keeps saying sanctions hurt Hungary’s energy supply.

    This is it, my friends: Fidesz has overtaken the feat of doublethinking (described by Orwell in 1984 as the skill to hold two contradictory ideas at once), and now they are able to *triplethink* (to say the least).

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