POLITICS

‘Can’t help Ukraine without simultaneously destroying ourselves’: Hungary PM holds hand up

As Ukraine has recently censured the Hungarian administration over its failure to acknowledge Russia’s involvement in the horrifying Bucha massacre, Hungary Prime Minister Viktor Orbán on Wednesday, April 6, had stated in a press conference that “a ceasefire is the first step on the road towards peace” between Ukraine and Russia, adding a “European peace conference must follow as soon as possible, because the war is becoming increasingly brutal.”


Shortly after Ukrainian President Zelenskyy said in an interview with Arnab Goswami that Ukraine demands strong action, including sanctions that have the impact of ‘nukes’ on Russia, speaking to the press, Orbán had stated, “We continue to envisage Hungary’s future within the European Union, and we want to take an active part in the shaping of the future European Union. We are also strengthening our alliance in terms of security. We are a NATO member country, we will remain a NATO member country.”


He added, “A ceasefire is the first step on the road towards peace between Ukraine and Russia. A European peace conference must follow as soon as possible, because the war is becoming increasingly brutal.” Orbán has recently won a landslide election, whereas his country has refused to allow its soil for delivery of weapons to Ukraine and has also refrained from any tough measures against Russia. 


‘Can’t help Ukraine by destroying ourselves’: Hungary PM Viktor Orbán


Earlier this month, in an interview to an international publication, when Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán was asked on the efforts of the Government of Hungary to stop the war, he had responded, “We need to be understanding of the Ukrainian President’s efforts: his country is in trouble, and as the force against him – Russia – is much bigger, more significant and militarily more powerful than Ukraine. We can’t blame the Ukrainian President for urging others to send arms and to close the taps on the gas pipelines. In this military conflict it’s perfectly understandable for Ukraine to wage an international campaign. We condemn the Russian attack, but we cannot help the Ukrainians without simultaneously destroying ourselves.”


In a question on the possible extension of sanctions on Russia, Orbán stated,  “Apart from Hungary, Germany, Austria and Bulgaria historically don’t have the absorption and transport capacity that would allow them to do without oil and gas coming from Russia. Quite simply, the Hungarian economy cannot function without such energy sources. At the last EU summit, the German-Austrian-Hungarian trio made this very clear: we made it clear that it would be inconceivable to extend the sanctions to energy.”


He added, “We’re (the European Union) imposing sanctions on Russia, we don’t want to abandon our climate policy based on raising energy prices, and at the same time – regardless of these factors – prices are going up all over the world. It’s a trap. What’s more, this has so far only been about energy prices and related rises, but if Ukraine and Russia are removed from the world’s grain supply, a global food crisis could be ignited. This would particularly affect Africa, but perhaps it could even affect us here in Europe.

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