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Costly affair: Sanctions on Russia have cost Hungary $8 billion, FM says

Costly affair: Sanctions on Russia have cost Hungary $8 billion, FM says
The Hungarian economy has lost nearly $8 billion due to restrictions on exports to Russia imposed by Brussels as part of the sanctions against Moscow, according to Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Peter Szijjarto.

The minister said that members of the bloc need to hold consultations on how successful the punitive measures, introduced against Moscow as early as in 2014, have been.

It is a legitimate question, as the sanctions have inflicted substantial damage to the Hungarian economy, he said in an interview with Russia-24 news channel.

Szijjarto stressed that Hungary was previously Russia’s second largest trade partner, but has dropped to 12th. In fact, Hungarian companies have lost nearly $8 billion amid the export restrictions.

Tough restrictive measures were introduced by Brussels four year ago over Russia’s alleged involvement in the conflict in eastern Ukraine and reunification with Crimea. The sanctions targeted Russia’s financial, energy, and defense sectors; along with some government officials, businessmen, and public figures.

Moscow retaliated by imposing an embargo on agricultural produce, food, and raw materials from countries that joined in the sanctions. Since then, both sides have extended the measures.

Earlier this month, Hungary’s foreign minister urged the EU to engage in dialogue and honest and straightforward discussion of the sanctions issue.

“Let’s see things factually whether it helped European economies, whether it helped the Russian economy, or whether it helped to down the Russian economy, whether it helped to implement the Minsk agreements, and so on and so forth,” Szijjarto said, speaking to Sophie Shevardnadze’s ‘SophieCo’ program on RT.

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