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Hungary to maintain economic relations with Russia — Orban

"We suggest our allies do the same," Hungarian Prime Minister says

BUDAPEST, February 18. /TASS/. Budapest will keep maintaining economic relations with Moscow and urges its allies to follow suit, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban said on Saturday, speaking in Budapest on his government’s political priorities.

"We will be maintaining economic relations with Russia and suggest our allies do the same," said the Hungarian prime minister, whose speech was broadcast by M1 television.

Orban pointed out that severing business ties with Russia would be against Hungary’s interests.

"That is why we opposed the sanctions targeting gas, oil and nuclear energy, which are disastrous [for the Hungarian economy]," the prime minister said.

"We will be maintaining our economic relations with Russia and we advise the entire Western world to follow suit, since without relations there will be neither ceasefire nor peace talks [on Ukraine]," Orban said.

Speaking about the EU punitive measures, Orban confirmed that Hungary would not allow church figures to be put on sanctions lists.

Additionally, Orban stated that it is essential to "take a look beyond Brussels" as the limited significance of the Ukraine conflict is comprehended very well outside Europe. In his view, Hungary’s position is an exception only within the European Union, whereas beyond its boundaries it enjoys fairly broad support.