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Hungary: Sanctions against Russia are useless

Staff Writer |
Hungary favours closer ties with Russia and also expects links with the United States to improve markedly under President Donald Trump.

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In an interview with Reuters days before Russian President Vladimir Putin visits Budapest to discuss closer energy ties, Peter Szijjarto also said the European Union's sanctions regime against Moscow was ineffective and should be scrapped.

"Hungary's position on the sanctions is that (they are) useless," Szijjarto said, estimating Hungary had lost export opportunities worth $6.5 billion since they were introduced in place in 2014.

"Should we be happy with Russia's economy declining? No, we regret that," he said, adding that Budapest did not view Moscow as a threat.

Hungary has remained on good terms with Russia under the sanctions regime, imposed following its annexation of Crimea in March 2014 and its subsequent involvement in the separatist conflict in Ukraine.

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