Europe

Hungary wants transparency in EU choice on Russian sanctions

  • Hungarian Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Peter Szijjarto, right, welcomes Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade in Budapest, Hungary, Wednesday, May 25, 2016. (Tamas Kovacs/MTI via AP)

    Hungarian Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Peter Szijjarto, right, welcomes Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade in Budapest, Hungary, Wednesday, May 25, 2016. (Tamas Kovacs/MTI via AP)  (The Associated Press)

  • Hungarian Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Peter Szijjarto, right, welcomes Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade in Budapest, Hungary, Wednesday, May 25, 2016. (Tamas Kovacs/MTI via AP)

    Hungarian Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Peter Szijjarto, right, welcomes Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade in Budapest, Hungary, Wednesday, May 25, 2016. (Tamas Kovacs/MTI via AP)  (The Associated Press)

  • Hungarian Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Peter Szijjarto, left, welcomes Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade in Budapest, Hungary, Wednesday, May 25, 2016. (Tamas Kovacs/MTI via AP)

    Hungarian Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Peter Szijjarto, left, welcomes Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade in Budapest, Hungary, Wednesday, May 25, 2016. (Tamas Kovacs/MTI via AP)  (The Associated Press)

Hungary's foreign minister says the European Union's decision on whether to extend economic sanctions against Russia for its actions in Ukraine should be transparent and discussed openly.

Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto said Wednesday after meeting Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov that Hungary will not accept an "automatic" decision regarding the sanctions now in place until the end of July.

Szijjarto said "EU members have to make a decision about (the sanctions) at the highest level."

Hungary has expressed opposition to the sanctions because Russia is an important market for Hungarian goods but has said it will abide by the EU position.

Szijjarto rejected criticism that Hungary is a "Trojan horse" for Russia in the EU, saying "it is dangerous if anyone has to give explanations for inviting the Russian foreign minister."