The US will probably sanction several individuals in Hungary, according to people familiar with the matter.
The individuals will likely include officials at a bank in the European Union and NATO state, according to one of the people, who spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the deliberations.
The people declined to provide names or the reasons for any potential measures. Spokespeople for the White House National Security Council didn’t immediately comment.
The US has sanctioned individuals in EU countries before, including in Hungary. The US last attempted to put pressure on Budapest in 2014, when the Obama administration barred several Hungarian officials from entering the US, including the head of the national tax office, on suspicion of corruption.
The Biden administration didn’t invite Hungary to a recent summit of democracies, and Prime Minister Viktor Orban
’s government has often been at odds with the US and other NATO allies over Russia’s war in Ukraine.
US Ambassador to Hungary David Pressman is scheduled to hold a news conference on Wednesday afternoon in Budapest, although the topic has not been made public.
An embassy spokesperson said they had no information to share relating to sanctions and there was no indication the briefing was related to the US deliberations on penalties in Hungary.
Budapest has refused calls to supply Ukraine with weapons to defend itself and has lobbied against sanctions imposed on Russia and President Vladimir Putin’s government. Hungary, along with Turkey, has also refused to ratify Sweden’s bid to join NATO over that country’s criticism of Orban in a dispute with the EU over the rule of law.
Hungary’s foreign minister visited Moscow this week to secure energy deals, even as much the country’s EU allies work to cut their dependency on Russian oil and gas.