Hungarian Prime Minister Orban said the EU "shot itself in the lungs" when imposing sanctions on Russia

Hungary’s prime minister said Ukraine needed help, but European leaders should reconsider their strategy, as sanctions would only cause widespread damage to the European economy without weakening Russia.

He also said that the sanctions on Russia did not make the conflict, which has dragged on for months, find a solution.

“If they continue to do so, the sanctions will kill the European economy. What we are seeing now is intolerable,” Orban said, calling on EU leaders to change their sanctions policy.

More than four months after Russia launched a special military operation UkraineSoaring energy prices have mitigated the impact of a series of Western sanctions on the country.

Despite the sharp drop in oil exports to Europe, high prices for other customers still help Moscow rake in millions of dollars a day.

On July 14, the European Commission revised its euro zone growth forecast for this year to 2.6 percent, lower than the 2.7 percent it put in May. The growth forecast for 2023 was revised up to 1.4%, instead of the previously estimated 2.3%.

Orban is considered the most pro-Russian leader among the 27 EU member states.

Hungary is the first EU country to buy a Russian-made Covid-19 vaccine, although European regulators have not approved it. President Putin has congratulate Orban, when he was re-elected in April, expressed a desire to strengthen ties with Hungary.

Hungary relies heavily on fossil fuels from Russia and last year signed a 15-year deal with Russian energy giant Gazprom to buy natural gas. Hungary receives about 65% of its oil and 85% of its gas from Russia.

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