Hungary estimated the damage from anti-Russian sanctions

Peter Siyyarto

Anti-Russian sanctions “ineffective and harmful” for the European economy and for the Russian Federation. In an interview with “Kommersant” said the head of the foreign Ministry of Hungary Peter Siarto.

In particular, the loss of his country from restrictive measures on exports for three years amounted to $ 6.5 billion. “Given that annual volume of Hungarian exports is about $ 90 billion, is a sensitive loss.”

Szijjártó expressed hope for an easing of sanctions in March during the EU summit, however, “much depends on the Russian-American dialogue”. “This will not impact directly on the position of Budapest, but may have an impact on the EU as a whole: if in dialogue of Moscow and Washington there is a positive shift, it will be easier to convince our friends in Europe to follow the same path. It is obvious that business is against the policy of sanctions,” he said.

The Minister also explained that Budapest has repeatedly expressed its disagreement with the EU policy towards Russia. “But we are not able to undermine European unity on this issue… And also, when we fought to change the decision and re — evaluation- we were not alone, these countries were several. But that day, when I had to make a decision, we were alone,” said he.

In addition, Szijjártó said that Hungary “would like to become one of the pillars of the reset in relations” between Russia and the EU. “We are confident that if Europe does not build the dialogue with Russia on a pragmatic basis, the EU will lose much — including in terms of competition with China, the US and the UK,” — said Siyyarto.

On January 23 Minister of foreign Affairs of Russia Sergey Lavrov said that the visit of Russian President Vladimir Putin in Budapest on February, 2nd this year. The Russian leader, in particular, will meet with Prime Minister of Hungary Viktor Orban.

The Hungarian authorities have repeatedly spoken out against anti-Russian sanctions. Thus, on 22 September 2016 Szijjártó said that the EU policy is based against Russia restrictive measures have proved insufficient, “because it had only a negative effect.” According to him, the restrictions have crippled the economy of the European countries, Russia and former States of the Soviet bloc.

After previous talks between Vladimir Putin and Viktor Orban, held on 17 February last year in Moscow, politicians have come to a common opinion that cooperation between the two countries can continue to circumvent the restrictive measures. In particular, it was about such a vital sector as energy.

1 July, the EU extended economic sanctions against Russia until 31 January 2017. On the same day the Prime Minister of Russia Dmitry Medvedev signed a decree on extension of counter-sanctions (they restrict the importation of a number of foods) from 6 August 2016 to 31 December 2017.