Zoltan Kovacs – Photo: kormany.hu

Kovacs: No member state should be penalised in the name of EU unity

Hungary was the first central European country to support Ukraine's integration into the European Union, but Hungary will also continue to stand up for its own interests, especially in energy policy, the state secretary responsible for international communication and relations, told Italian news channel Sky Tg24 on Monday.

During the accession process, Kyiv will have to comply with the same conditions as every other EU candidate state, Zoltan Kovacs said.

Hungary will continue to stand up for its interests and will not cross certain “red lines”, such insisting on its energy policy and respect of the religious freedom of the members of the Russian Orthodox Church, he said.

Sanctions will only work if they harm the target country, he said, adding that Europe was smarting from sanctions imposed on Russia, and the situation may worsen in the coming period.

Kovacs accused the European Union of having “blackmailed” Hungary on a number occasions before the war started, and he called on the EU to stop “penalising member states”. European unity should be manifest in foreign affairs, while the decisions of member states and their voters should be respected, he added.

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