Hungary’s ruling party wants to poll the country’s citizens on whether they support European Union sanctions imposed on Russia for its war in Ukraine.
Fidesz plans to call for a “national consultation” on energy sanctions it says were decided by the EU’s “Brussels elite”, party caucus leader Mate Kocsis said during a meeting. a press conference on Thursday after a closed meeting.
“Sanctions hurt. They are destroying the European economy,” Kocsis said. “We have to convince European policy makers, members of the elite, that they shouldn’t keep energy sanctions going because big problems will result.”
The poll, which the government calls a “national consultation”, is an informal survey available to all adults in Hungary that can be mailed back or completed online.
These polls, published repeatedly by the governments of nationalist-populist Prime Minister Viktor Orban since he came to power in 2010, have been criticized by pollsters and opposition parties for containing biased and biased questions, and for not have no binding legal relevance.
During the press conference, Kocsis acknowledged that the consultation is a “political tool” that the government can use in its discussions with the EU on whether to extend or impose new sanctions against Russia. He said the government would decide when the inquiry will take place.
The Hungarian government has strongly opposed EU sanctions against Moscow, arguing that they hurt European economies more than Russia. Budapest has also refused to supply weapons to neighboring Ukraine or allow their transfer across its border with the beleaguered country.
The pro-government Magyar Nemzet newspaper reported on Wednesday that Orban – who has had a close relationship with Russian President Vladimir Putin for years – told the Fidesz conference that sanctions against Russia should be removed and that this would reduce the inflation and would reduce the gas. half price.