The conflict in Ukraine will end when Washington decides to seek peace, Viktor Orban has said Viktor Orban delivers his annual state of the nation speech in Budapest, Hungary, February 18, 2023 © AFP / Attila Kisbenedek
An agreement between the US and Russia is the only thing that can end the conflict in Ukraine, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban stated on Monday. Orban has repeatedly accused EU leaders of serving American, rather than European, interests by continuing to bankroll Kiev.
Speaking at the Qatar Economic Forum in Doha on Tuesday, Orban reiterated his position that Ukraine cannot win on the battlefield, and that Kiev and its Western backers must pursue peace talks with Russia.
“First we should have a ceasefire,” he said. “Then let’s talk about the new security architecture of the European continent.”
“The only peace agreement that could close this whole conflict is if it is between Russia and the United States,” he elaborated. “What is at stake is the future security of Europe. It’s obvious that without the US there is no security architecture for Europe, and now the war can only be stopped if the Russians can make an agreement with the United States.”
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“As a European I am not happy with that,” he added. “But this is the only way out.”
Throughout the conflict, Orban has repeatedly spoken out against the West’s twin policies of military aid to Kiev and sanctions on Moscow, arguing that the former risks escalating the conflict to a global war and the latter harms Europe’s economy more than Russia’s.
The Hungarian prime minister has also argued that only Washington has the power to pressure Kiev into peace talks, and that decisions made in Brussels “reflect American interests more often than European ones.”
With the US dragging Europe into a conflict it cannot win, Orban has suggested that “the solution would be a European NATO” without the US as a member.
Hungary is currently blocking a €500 million ($540 million) EU military aid package for Ukraine. Apart from his long-standing opposition to escalating the conflict, Orban cited Ukraine’s sanctioning of a Hungarian bank as a reason for the hold up.
“If a country like Ukraine would like to get our financial support, they can’t put our companies on a blacklist,” he said on Tuesday. “If you need our money, please respect us.” (RT)