Hungary warns about EU role in Ukraine
Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Oban has criticized the EU for choosing a path of escalation in the Ukrainian crisis. The continuation of hostilities and sanctions on Russia is about to plunge its members into a recession, he warned
The remarks about EU foreign policy came at a summit of Turkic nations in Samarkand, Uzbekistan, on Friday. He contrasted the European approach to that of nations attending the meeting, particularly Türkiye, which served as a mediator between Russia and Ukraine.
“The voice of those who want peace is much quieter than the voice of those who just increase tensions,” Orban said of Western policy on Ukraine.
“We in the EU are on a spiral of escalation. We first delivered non-lethal military aid, then we started sending lethal weapons, now we are training the Ukrainian troops in European territory. In the next few days we will decide whether to bankroll the Ukrainian economy,” he explained.
Contrasting that, the Organization of Turkic States (OTS) is a forum for peace, Orban noted. He credited Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan with urging Ukraine and Russia to seek compromise and for facilitating the Black Sea grain deal. It helped reduce the threat of mass migration from less-stable nations, which Hungary considers a big challenge, the prime minister said.
Orban reiterated his assessment that Western sanctions, which were imposed on Moscow in retaliation for its offensive in Ukraine, were hurting the EU more than they hurt Russia. Now, “European economies are heading towards recession at high speed,” he stated.
The Hungarian leader is a vocal critic of Brussels’ approach to the Ukraine crisis. His government currently opposes a proposed bloc-wide program to bail out the Ukrainian government but pledged to support it on a bilateral basis. Budapest rejected Kiev’s calls to send weapons and is not participating in the training of Ukrainian troops.
The EU leadership said that Ukraine should get all the help it needs to defeat Russia on the battlefield and that Europeans should be ready to pay the price for it.
The OTS, formerly called the Turkic Council, counts Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Türkiye, and Uzbekistan as its members, with Hungary and Turkmenistan having observer status in the organization.