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Hungary cannot support the eighth package of European Union sanctions against Russia if it includes energy sanctions, said the head of Prime Minister Gergely Gulyas, Reuters reports.

The European Commission has proposed new sanctions against Russia, including tougher trade restrictions, blacklisting more individuals and limiting oil prices for third countries. The proposed sanctions fall short of tougher measures, including a ban on imports of Russian diamonds.

But EU states need unanimity to impose sanctions. Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban has spoken out against the sanctions, saying they have backfired, raising energy prices and hurting the European economy.

Hungary has already done a lot to preserve European unity, but if energy sanctions are in the package, we cannot and will not support them, Gergely Gulyas said at a briefing. He said they are waiting for the final, complete list of sanctions, and then they can agree on it. Hungary cannot support energy sanctions.

The Hungarian government is also negotiating with the European Commission to get billions of euros from EU funds blocked because of disagreements over the rule of law. Gulyas said he expects the deal to be signed because Budapest is ready to fulfill all its obligations to the European Commission.

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