Russian-Ukrainian conflict – almost all planned and introduced sanctions are rejected by the Hungarians

In the context of the Russian-Ukrainian crisis, the European Union has decided to impose sanctions on Russia and has further plans to put pressure on the Russian leadership. Meanwhile, it turned out that the sanctions already imposed did not live up to their expectations, instead, they have plunged EU Member States into crisis, because the attempt to disconnect from Russian energy sources has been hampered and has resulted in extreme uncertainty and increase in oil, electricity and gas prices. Századvég has examined how the adult Hungarian population feels about the European Union's sanctions policy towards Russia.

Hungarians say 'no' to sanctions and planned measures

Based on the survey, it can be concluded that a high proportion, 81 percent of people reject that the European Union and its Member States should buy arms for Ukraine, and those polled are equally opposed to banning Russian tourists and tourism from Europe. Only 16 percent and 17 percent of respondents agree with the two proposals, respectively.

The results are in line with previous research by Századvég, which pointed out that the vast majority of Hungarians are calling for peace and compromise between the parties to the conflict, which requires the start of peace talks as soon as possible. However, the arming of Ukraine has the opposite effect, in fact it is contributing to the prolongation of the war, 

which results in additional human casualties and weakens Europe's economy by, among other things, generating wartime inflation. In addition, the absence of Russian tourists would also have an adverse effect on the revenues of European tourism, and therefore on the economic indicators of the continent.

The vast majority of those surveyed (78 percent) do not support the ban on the import of Russian oil into Europe, the training of Ukrainian soldiers by the European Union (77 percent), the ban on the import of Russian gas and permanent disconnection from Russian gas (75 percent), and the ban on the import of Russian fuel elements and raw materials for nuclear power plants (74 percent). Hungarians are similarly dismissive of the ban on the import of Russian coal (71 percent), the ban on importing goods and services from Russia into Europe (70 percent), the ban on Russian aircraft flying in civil air traffic from Europe (68 percent), and the ban on the sale of European products and services to Russia (67 percent).


Although the Hungarian government has fought for an exemption from the oil embargo, ensuring the country's oil supply, the leadership of the European Union is already  considering restricting the import of gas.  However, a gas embargo, also putting the power supply at risk, would cause a downturn in German industry, which would drag Europe's economy down  and risk securing the population's energy supply with another significant increase in prices.

The majority of Hungarians do not agree with the ban of leading Russian politicians and diplomats from Europe (61 percent), the exclusion of Russia and the Russian financial system from international and EU financial relations and lending (60 percent), the withdrawal of international corporations from Russia (57 percent), or the reconstruction of Ukraine financed by the European Union and its Member States (54 percent). Only 43 percent of respondents support European-funded reconstruction plans in Ukraine.

In connection with the adoption of these measures, the question arises as to what extent the imposition of sanctions has lived up to its expectations, since the withdrawal of large companies from Russia has caused great financial damage  to European firms that have so far made a profit there.

The results of the survey reveal that only one of the retaliations enjoys the support of the majority of the population: 57 percent of those surveyed agree with the tightening measures imposed on the wealth of Russian billionaires and oligarchs, while 37 percent expressed the opposite opinion.

Overall, it can be concluded that

the vast majority of Hungarians reject the planned and already introduced sanctions, as they do not bring the start of peace talks closer

and already burden the wallets of Europeans more than Russia, which has been affected by restrictions. 



CATI method, n=1000, among the adult Hungarian population, data collection: August 2022

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