‘Seemingly No Way Out of Ukraine War’, Say Orbán

  • 4 Mar 2024 6:57 AM
  • Hungary Matters
‘Seemingly No Way Out of Ukraine War’, Say Orbán
There seems to be no solution to the conflict between Russia and Ukraine and that leaves European politics “paralysed”, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán said at the Antalya Diplomacy Forum.

“If you think that time is on the Ukrainian and the Western side, and continuing the war can provide military success for the Ukrainians, it’s reasonable to continue. If you think that time is more on the Russian side, and continuing the war would bring more success to the Russians, for the Ukrainians it is better to stop now. I belong to the second camp,” Orbán said.

He said “we are in trouble” because many countries consider the conflict as “our war” and “if the enemy proves to be stronger … you belong to the losers … and it’s very difficult to explain how to behave and how to get out of a situation when you lose a war”.

Hungary was not viewing the war “through the eyeglasses of Ukraine or those of Putin” but from a Hungarian perspective, Orbán said.

Orbán noted the ethnic Hungarian community in Transcarpathia, who have lived there for one thousand years and are now being conscripted to the Ukrainian army. Peace in Ukraine would ensure that Hungarian lives were safe, he added.

“That’s one reason, among others, why we Hungarians are very much committed to peace,” Orbán said.

Szijjártó Calls for 'Every Effort' to Avoid Conflict Between NATO, Russia

“Every effort must be made to avoid a conflict between NATO and Russia,” the foreign minister told public radio.

Addressing French President Emmanuel Macron’s recent remark that “nothing could be ruled out” when asked about the possibility of deploying Western troops to Ukraine, Péter Szijjártó told Kossuth Rádió that Europe was suffering from “war psychosis”.

He welcomed responses by the majority of European politicians who said they did not wish to send troops to Ukraine.

After Western Europe’s deliveries to Ukraine progressed from helmets to ammunition, to armoured vehicles and rockets, he said it was no surprise that some Western politicians were talking about the deployment of ground troops. “That is diametrically opposed to joint decisions taken till now,” he added.

He noted that NATO members had issued a declaration two years earlier, stating that NATO was not a combatant and that all efforts should be made to avoid a conflict between NATO and Russia.

Comments by Western politicians on the deployment of troops to Ukraine are in violation of that declaration, he said. He added that NATO was a defence alliance and attacking anyone was not its purpose.

He said that Hungary’s prediction made at the start of the war that sanctions against Russia would not work and that there would be no solution on the battlefield, had proved correct.

He warned that the longer the war lasted, the greater the threat of that “terrifying danger called the third world war”.

Szijjártó said the scenario in which Ukraine made advances on the battlefield that would put the country in an advantageous position to start negotiations had failed.

“Time is on Russia’s side,” he added. He reiterated Hungary’s position against sending weapons or troops to Ukraine, and for urging a ceasefire and peace talks.

Speaking about a recent summit of Visegrad Group leaders, he acknowledged differences on positions concerning the issue of peace, but said cooperation was an advantage when representing interests that converge, such as illegal migration, keeping energy supply a sovereign matter and agriculture development.

Szijjártó: Hungary Not to Sacrifice Energy Security for 'War We Are Not Part Of'

Hungary will not sacrifice its energy security for a conflict “that is not our war”, the foreign minister told the Antalya Diplomacy Forum.

Speaking at a panel discussion at the forum, Péter Szijjártó said it was unfortunate that the European Union approached the issue from an ideological standpoint, adding that optimal solutions for member states could be found only if the issue was “considered a matter of physical reality”.

Energy supply needs infrastructure, and the procurement of energy resources will always be determined by the delivery routes at hand, he said. Hungary’s government sees energy supply as a priority, he said.

Noting that Hungary had been granted exemption from implementing certain EU sanctions on the Russian energy sector, Szijjártó said the country’s supply would be impossible without cooperation with Russia.

Replacing Russian energy deliveries with European ones would be realistic only if Europe could supply resources at the same price, quantity and schedule, Szijjártó told EU foreign ministers, according to a ministry statement.

Hungary would be “in grave danger” if ideological considerations were to “cast a shadow” over energy policy, he said.

On the matter of nuclear energy, Szijjártó said it was the only cheap, safe and sustainable way to produce large amounts of electricity. Hungary finds it “unacceptable” that the EU is considering excluding nuclear energy from the category of “clean” energy, he said.

Hungary has been cooperating with Russia on nuclear energy production for nearly 50 years, he said. At the same time, the Russian contractor working on the upgrade of Hungary’s nuclear plant is employing US, French and German subcontractors, he said.

“That goes to show that economic players are ready to think more realistically than certain governments.”

The government has also been working on “a sensible” energy diversification. Türkiye is expected to deliver 275 million cubic meters of gas to Hungary this year, he noted.

Szijjártó also touched on the Green Energy Corridor, a delivery route planned to deliver green energy from Azerbaijan and Georgia.

The planned 1,100 kilometre pipeline connecting Georgia and Romania would be the longest underwater pipeline in the world, he added. I

ncreasing capacity is all the more important as Hungary is set to become the second largest battery manufacturer in the world, and the sector is extremely energy-hungry, he said.

Meanwhile, Szijjártó also called for expanding the natural gas infrastructure in south-east Europe, which is key to drawing new resources, he said.

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