Hungary launches national consultation on EU sanctions against Russia

The government of Hungary on Friday launched a “national consultation” survey, asking citizens for their opinions on the European Union’s (EU) sanctions against Russia.

“We believe that the Brussels sanctions are destroying us. Have your say too,” the government said in a Facebook post presenting the seven questions.

The questions relate to the EU’s existing or planned sanctions, including those on Russia’s deliveries of oil, gas, raw materials and nuclear fuel, as well as the Moscow-backed expansion of the Paks nuclear power plant, and the sanctions’ impact on tourism and food prices.

Although Hungary’s government led by Viktor Orban has voted for all the EU’s sanctions packages –in exchange for exemptions from sanctions on energy –the prime minister has been a harsh critic of the West’s sanctions in recent months.

Addressing the inaugural autumn session of Hungary’s Parliament in late September, Orban said that “Brussels shot itself in the foot” with the sanctions. He argued that families across Europe have to pay the price of the sanctions in their energy bills.

On Friday morning, in a radio interview, he blamed the sanctions for Hungary’s record inflation rate of over 20 percent.

The government’s “national consultation” consists of a questionnaire mailed to every household. People can respond by mail or online.

Orban said on Friday that the government will use the results as a political tool in its “fights in Brussels.”



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