Prime Minister Viktor Orbán to Prime Minister of Luxembourg: Hungary does not support sanctions against church leaders – everyone was aware of this already at the EU summit
07. 06. 2022.
Prime Minister Viktor Orbán wrote a letter to Prime Minister of Luxembourg Xavier Bettel in which he responded to statements made by his counterpart, criticising him in connection with planned EU sanctions against Russian Patriarch Kirill which were eventually abandoned, Bertalan Havasi, the head of the Press Office of the Prime Minister informed the Hungarian news agency MTI on Tuesday.

“Your statement took me by surprise. You must be aware that Hungary always honours every agreement,” Mr Orbán wrote, highlighting that while we may have disputes and we do, the Hungarians always play with an open deck.

Mr Orbán stressed that in reality every prime minister in the European Council must have been aware that Russian Patriarch Kirill was not on the sanctions list as for an entire month at the meetings of EU Permanent Representatives, the Hungarian delegation had objected to this measure. Not a single head of state or government raised objections to this Hungarian position at the latest meeting of the European Council, Mr Orbán pointed out to his Luxembourger counterpart.

In continuation, he wrote “We achieved an admirable result: we preserved our unity. Please, do not relativise this, you should celebrate our achievement instead”.

“As far as the essence of the matter is concerned, in order to avoid future misunderstandings, Hungary’s Constitution protects freedom of religion, and we will therefore never support the placement of church leaders on sanctions lists and their isolation from members of their congregations. We want peace, and without the participation of the leaders of churches there cannot be peace. As a leader who always advocates human rights, please accept the Hungarian position with understanding,” Mr Orbán wrote in conclusion in his letter to Xavier Bettel.