Finance Minister Mihaly Varga – Photo: MTI

Varga: Sanctions against Russia ‘ineffective’

Sanctions against Russia are not working, Finance minister Mihaly Varga said on Saturday after attending a meeting of EU finance ministers in Prague.

The European Union’s sanctions policy has not come up to expectations, Varga told MTI, noting that Europe was now paying an exorbitant price for Russian energy.

“Brutal inflation and energy shortages linked to sanctions are bringing Europe to its knees,” he said.

Whereas Hungary’s economy has performed well, with annual growth in the second quarter of 6.5 percent — among the highest growth rates in the EU — record high energy prices and inflation and drought-related damage to crops are likely to dampen growth in the third and fourth quarters, though growth may still reach around 4 percent in 2022, he added.

Varga said Hungary maintained its opposition to harmonised decision-making on taxation, and would not abandon its tax sovereignty.

Meanwhile, the minister said Hungary backs an emergency financial aid package of 9 billion euros for Ukraine. He noted that Hungary has already provided more than 28 billion forints (EUR 69m) in aid to Ukraine, and more than 900,000 refugees have crossed into the country. Also, member states that border Ukraine are taking on financial burdens of the war that other member states do not have to, Varga added.

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