Orban Calls for End of EU Sanctions on Russia, Nemzet Reports

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(Bloomberg) -- The European Union should scrap its sanctions against Russia by the end of this year, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban said, according to Magyar Nemzet newspaper.

Orban told his lawmakers in a closed-door meeting that sanctions have hurt Europe’s economy more than Russia’s and withdrawing them would tame inflation and reduce the risk of a recession, the newspaper, closely affiliated with the premier’s party, reported on Thursday without citing anyone.

Orban, who is seen as the closest leader in the EU to Russian President Vladimir Putin, has frequently lashed out against EU sanctions but it’s the first time he’s reported to have explicitly called for their withdrawal.

His comments come as the EU continues to block Hungary’s access to crucial funding on graft concerns and as Russia announced a “partial mobilization” in a major escalation of his flagging invasion of Ukraine.

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