Speaking in Berlin during his recent visit, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán said the European Union's sanctions policy against Russia is "primitive in execution and catastrophic in effect".
At a podium discussion, the prime minister said an “appropriate sanctions policy” would have stopped energy prices from skyrocketing and European economies would not be facing ruin. The EU’s sanctions policy “ignores European values” while ruining the German and Hungarian economies, he said. It also “helps Moscow to as many gains in energy revenues in six months as it used to earn in a year”, he added. Orbán stressed that he did not oppose sanctions per se but the way they were implemented. Sanctions should be imposed “intelligently”, Orbán said. In the EU’s case, “a dwarf is imposing sanctions on a giant … and the dwarf will perish in the effort,” he said, calling for a review of EU sanctions and energy supply reform so the EU achieves independence rather than “merely switching masters” by pivoting from dependence on Russia to dependence on the US. This may be “more convenient politically because Americans, unlike Russians, are democrats”, but “it would not be good” because Europe, as a customer, “should have four or five offers on the table to choose from”.