PM Orbán rejects President Zelensky’s demands to send arms and ban Russian energy supplies

Prime Minister Viktor Orbán has rejected Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky's demands at the European Council because they are contrary to the interests of Hungary.

The president of Ukraine had asked Hungary and Prime Minister Orbán to do two things. The first was to vote to extend sanctions to the energy sector and for Hungary to stop buying oil and gas from Russia. And the second was that Hungary should allow arms shipments and send arms to Ukraine.

PM Orbán, however, rejected both requests because they are against Hungary's interests. Hungary wants to stay out of this war, so it will not allow the transfer of arms and weapons to Ukraine, he said. At the same time, Hungary is doing everything it can to help those fleeing the war and provide them with humanitarian aid.

Hungary was not alone in rejecting Zelensky’s demands: EU heads of state and government issued written conclusions that repeated their previous statement at a similar summit in Versailles, earlier this month

The prime minister said that by Thursday, over half a million Ukrainian refugees had already arrived in Hungary, and Hungary had delivered HUF 2 billion worth of aid to Ukraine. 

Turning off the oil and gas taps would mean Hungarian families paying the price of war.  85% of Hungarian households are heated by gas, and 64% of Hungary's oil imports come from Russia. It’s important to note that oil refineries can only be converted to process oil from elsewhere after three to four years of preparation, and the amount of Russian gas currently used cannot be physically obtained from any other source.

Hungary’s position is that we cannot allow the price of war to be paid by Hungarian families. This is why we will continue to oppose the extension of sanctions to Russian energy carriers in all European forums, as we have done in the past.