The Hungarian leader said his citizens want Brussels to stay out of the country’s energy policy
Viktor Orban attends a joint press conference with Austrian Chancellor Karl Nehammer at the Federal Chancellery in Vienna, Austria, July 28, 2022 © AFP / Alex Halada
Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban has lambasted an EU plan to reduce gas consumption by 15%. Unless the bloc pushes for peace in Ukraine, he warned that Europe will face an energy crisis, a recession, and political turmoil.
Speaking following a meeting with Austrian Chancellor Karl Nehammer in Vienna on Thursday, Orban said that Hungary determines its own energy policy, and any attempt by Brussels to interfere with this “will not find favor with the Hungarians.”
Earlier this week, in anticipation of a cutoff in supply from Russia the EU’s member states agreed on a range of measures to cut their gas consumption by 15% over the winter. The voluntary measures – including a switch to alternative fuels and rationing for household consumers – could become mandatory should the EU declare a state of emergency.
Hungary was the only one of the EU’s 27 members to oppose the plan. Declaring it “simply impossible” to go without Russian energy, Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto traveled to Moscow last Thursday to negotiate the purchase of an extra 700 million cubic meters of Russian gas.