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‘We are destroying Europe’: Hungarian FM slams EU’s self-harming sanctions on Russia

Peter Szijjarto attends a European Union energy ministers meeting in Brussels, Belgium, December 13, 2022( photo via AFP)

The European Union’s sanctions policy against Russia has turned into a laughing stock on the global stage, says Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto, warning that Europe is “destroying” itself in the name of supporting Ukraine.

It would be a “baroque and poetic exaggeration” to say that sanctions against Russia have succeeded in crippling the Russian economy, Szijjarto told attendees at the Tranzit political festival on Saturday. 

“The policy of sanctions has failed,” he said, adding that everywhere in the world, the European sanctions policy is being laughed at.”

European leaders have embraced these self-harming sanctions because they “are in a war psychosis,” Szijjarto said.

He also said that the EU military aid to Kiev is also directly threatening the security of the continent.

“The USA has pushed Europe into the competition of who will help Ukraine and how much: a military aid competition,” he said, lamenting that European politicians “accepted this provocation” even though “we are literally destroying Europe.”

The EU’s chief diplomat, Josep Borrell, claimed on Saturday that the sanctions are “producing hard, tangible effects across Russia’s economy.” 

However, the International Monetary Fund has forecast that the Russian economy will continue to grow by 0.7% this year and 1.3% in 2024.

In March, asked why Hungary does not supply weapons to Kiev while many other EU countries have, Szijjarto said Hungary is a neighboring state and does not want more lives to be lost.

European countries, including France, Germany and the UK, have suffered huge economic shocks from the ongoing war in Ukraine, especially as an indirect result of their own sanctions on Russia.

Economists forecast that an unprecedented economic crisis could be in store for the EU member states, worse than the cost-of-living crisis in recent years.

In the month of June, according to the Belgian government’s statistics office, a total of 1,092 businesses failed in the EU capital Brussels alone.

Budapest has repeatedly called for a ceasefire and peace deal in Ukraine and criticized the EU for sending arms to Kiev. Hungary has also insisted that anti-Russia sanctions hurt Europe more than they hurt Russia.

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban told the German tabloid Bild in May that a Ukrainian victory on the battlefield was an “impossible” task for Kiev and its supporters.

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