Hungary criticizes the European Union for applying sanctions against journalists

The EU’s declared support for press freedom clashes with its actions in a “confusing” way, said Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto, commenting on the blacklisting of Russian journalists in the latest round. of sanctions.

In an interview with the RIA Novosti news agency published on Monday, the diplomat also said that Brussels criticizes the Hungarian government for allegedly failing to protect the media.

“The only reason for this criticism is that, unlike in any other part of Europe, in Hungary the media is very colourful. If you look in Europe, 98% of the media are liberal and the rest are the rest”, he stated, although he acknowledged that his words may be “a little exaggeration”.

The foreign minister pointed out that in Hungary, the media is roughly divided into two halves, between liberal and conservative media, but the West and liberal media consider this to show a lack of press freedom.

“So those who judge us for media freedom, those are [the people] who put journalists on a sanctions list. For me it is a bit confusing, ”he concluded.

The tenth package of sanctions against Russia was adopted by the EU last week. It blacklisted Russian media organizations and individuals, in what the bloc described as targeting “disinformation outlets.” Among other things, Brussels added RT Arabic to the list of channels whose broadcasting is prohibited in the EU.

In the interview, Szijjarto also reiterated Hungary’s commitment to veto any attempt to sanction the Russian nuclear industry and urged a thorough investigation into last year’s sabotage of the Nord Stream pipelines, calling it a “terrorist attack” against the infrastructure. EU energy.