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Orban Seeks to Ratchet Up Opposition to EU’s Russia Sanctions

  • Hungarian PM wants ‘national consultation’ on energy sanctions
  • Orban reportedly called for withdrawing EU sanctions on Russia
Viktor Orban

Viktor Orban

Photographer: Valeria Mongelli/Bloomberg

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s party will launch an advertising blitz at home against European Union energy sanctions, putting the populist leader on a collision course with peers who are readying new restrictions against Russia for its invasion of Ukraine.   

Orban proposed launching a “national consultation” on the issue, Mate Kocsis, the ruling Fidesz party’s parliamentary group leader, told reporters on Thursday. Critics have said such campaigns, formerly aimed against immigrants and Hungarian-born US investor and liberal philanthropist George Soros, amount to little more than a large-scale government ad campaign bordering on state propaganda.