February 29, 2016 / 9:02 AM / 3 years ago

Hungary's Orban says no automatic extension of sanctions against Russia

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban speaks during his state-of-the-nation speech in Budapest, Hungary, February 28, 2016. The banner reads "Hungary reforms works". REUTERS/Laszlo Balogh

BUDAPEST (Reuters) - The European Union is expected to hold discussions about whether Russia has fulfilled the Minsk agreement on Ukraine and there will not be an automatic extension of sanctions against Moscow, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban said on Monday.

“At the end of the first half of the year a serious debate can be expected within the EU about the fulfillment of the Minsk agreement,” Orban told Hungarian ambassadors.

“In other words, there won’t be an automatic extension of sanctions against Russia, and whatever decision we will make, that should be preceded by a calm and objective analysis about the Minsk agreement,” he added.

Orban’s government has granted a deal to Russia’s Rosatom to build new reactors at Hungary’s nuclear power plant, and has promoted what it calls a “pragmatic” good relationship with Russia. Orban visited Moscow earlier this month.

Reporting by Krisztina Than and Marton Dunai; Editing by Dominic Evans

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