Hungary Stands Against European Union Sanctions on Russia’s Nuclear Industry

Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto declared on May 22, 2023 that Hungary will oppose any EU sanctions that would limit cooperation with Russia in the nuclear energy sector. 

“Despite the pressure that’s being exerted on us, we will strongly oppose any kind of sanctions affecting the nuclear industry, because it concerns Hungary’s energy security. In no case will we risk the security of Hungary’s energy supply,” he said to Hungarian reporters in between meetings with fellow EU foreign ministers in Brussels, per a broadcast of the news conference on Szijjarto’ Facebook page.

Since the Russo-Ukrainian war broke out, Hungary has maintained a balanced stance on the conflict. While it has not allied itself with Russia, Hungary has not jumped on the fanatic anti-Russia bandwagon. It has eschewed the sanctions and military aid campaign against it. 

Instead, it exercises geopolitical realism where it condemns the conflict but still maintains diplomatic and economic ties with Russia, like any sane nation would. Hungary has had a fraught history with Russia, especially with its Soviet Union predecessor which launched a major crackdown against Hungary in the 1950s. 

However, Hungary has not been totally hung up by this history. It lives in the present and thinks about the future in how it conducts foreign policy. Perhaps other EU nations could follow in Hungary’s footsteps and emulate its reasonable foreign policy. Sleepwalking into a nuclear conflict with Russia is just asking for a geopolitical catastrophe of epic proportions for the Old Continent.  

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