Prime minister Viktor Orbán – Photo: PMO

Orbán to Bettel: Hungary does not support sanctioning church leaders, standpoint well-known

Prime Minister Viktor Orbán has written to Xavier Bettel, his Luxembourg counterpart, in connection with criticism of Hungary's insistence that the European Union strike Patriach Kirill of Moscow from its sixth sanctions package, the PM's press chief said on Tuesday.

Orbán said in the letter that Bettel’s criticism was baffling since Hungary’s position on the matter had been expressed several times prior.

At the recent European Council meeting to discuss sanctions, everyone knew that the Hungarian delegation had opposed including the patriarch on the list, Orbán wrote. Hungary’s standpoint was not countered by leader at the meeting, he added.

“We ended up with a huge achievement: we preserved our unity. Please don’t relativize this; rather celebrate this success,” the prime minister wrote.

Orbán also quoted the Hungarian constitution which stipulates protecting the freedom of religion. The Hungarian government would never support sanctions against church leaders or estranging them from their faithful, he wrote. Hungary wants peace, and peace is not possible without church leaders, he said, and he appealed to his Luxembourg counterpart to show understanding for Hungary’s position.

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