Jun 14, 2016

EU sanctions on Russia costs us billions

Hungary met with America to discuss their bilateral partnership and pressing issues in Europe

Mihály Varga, minister for National Economy, has met with Daniel Fried, US State Department coordinator for sanctions policy, to discuss trade and investment in Europe.

Joined by US Ambassador Colleen Bell, Minister Varga also discussed Russia and sanctions imposed upon the nation by the EU.

EU sanctions against Russia – according to the Austrian economic think tank, WIFO – cause a daily loss of 100 billion Euros for the European Union, and they endanger more than 2 million jobs.

Over the past two years, Hungarian exports have suffered a potential loss of 44.5bn USD, especially exports of machinery and food, the minister stressed. The government has recently made strenuous efforts to find alternative markets.

The minister emphasized that sanctions against Russia imposed as a consequence of the country’s involvement in the Ukrainian crisis can only be lifted provided Russia fulfils obligations laid down in the Minsk Protocol.

In the coming months, it has to be analyzed on a European level whether punitive measures have achieved the desired effect, Varga said.

The USA is currently one of Hungary’s most important trade partners, and the eighth largest investor. The volume of Hungarian exports to the United States grew by 10 percent in 2015, US companies employ more than 90,000 people and last year 10 new investment projects were brought to Hungary.