Hungary: Orban announces referendum on Russia sanctions

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban has announced a referendum on the European Union's (EU) sanctions on Russia.

Hungary: Orban announces referendum on Russia sanctions

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban has announced a referendum on the European Union's (EU) sanctions on Russia.

"The sanctions were not decided in a democratic manner, but Brussels bureaucrats and European elites decided on them," he said on Monday in the Budapest parliament. "Although Europe's citizens are paying the price, they have not been asked," he added.

Orban has been railing against the sanctions the EU imposed on Russia after it invaded Ukraine for months. However: in the Council of EU states, which must take these decisions unanimously, Hungary always voted for the respective sanctions packages. The Hungarian had agreed to an exception to the oil embargo against Russia that came into effect in December.

Citizens receive questionnaires with leading questions

As part of a "national consultation," the Hungarian government will now be "the first in Europe to ask people about sanctions against Russia," Orban said on Monday. The right-wing populist repeatedly has "national consultations" carried out to have his policies confirmed, for example in connection with restrictions on the right to asylum.

Questionnaires are sent to citizens that contain leading questions and make the government's positions appear correct. The results of these surveys have no legally binding consequences.

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