Whoever invented the sanctions imposed by Brussels over the war in Ukraine is Russia’s best friend, as the European Union has harmed not Russia but itself with these measures, Gergely Gulyás, the minister leading the Prime Minister’s Office, told Swiss weekly Weltwoche.
In a compilation of the conversation with Gergely Gulyás published in the Thursday edition of the newspaper, Weltwoche, it was pointed out that the European press and politicians in Brussels are once again sharply criticizing Hungary, this time for its conduct in the war in Ukraine, about which the minister stressed that Hungary is not Russian President Vladimir Putin’s “Trojan horse.”
Such accusations are “propaganda of the worst kind,” Gulyás underlined, pointing out that Hungary condemns Russian aggression against Ukraine as clearly as the rest of the EU, and has provided the “largest humanitarian aid” in its post-war history to Ukraine and the 1.2 million Ukrainians who have fled to Hungary.
Hungary is also supporting Ukraine financially within the EU framework and is backing EU sanctions against Russia. However, it is clear that the West cannot continue its current policy, the Fidesz politician said, adding that the EU has not harmed Russia with sanctions, but itself, especially in the energy sector.
According to Gulyás,
a “European debate” should be launched urgently on the EU’s policy on the war in Ukraine.
He added that we need intelligent sanctions “that harm Russia, not Europe.”
The minister said that Hungary’s policy towards Russia was one of mediation rather than aggression, the main reason being its dependence on Russian energy supplies. Hungary imports 90 percent of its gas and oil from Russia, so “the Hungarian economy and society cannot function without Russian gas and oil this year and next year.”
This also means that Swiss, Austrian, or German companies with large investments in Hungary could not produce without Russian gas.
“So our primary interest is to maintain relations with Russia, despite all the condemnations and sanctions, so that the flow of energy continues,”
Justifying the Hungarian government’s position against arms shipments to Ukraine, he pointed out that weapons could only be delivered through the Carpathians, which would pose a threat of Russian attack in an area where Ukraine’s Hungarian minority lives.
The Ukrainians are “fighting for their homeland” and are “putting up a heroic fight,” which Hungary appreciates very much, but there is an even more important value that should not be forgotten, he added, stressing that “a war against a nuclear power poses a huge threat, not only for Ukraine but for the whole of Europe.”
Therefore, it is in everyone’s interest that a ceasefire is established as quickly as possible, Gulyás said, emphasizing that Hungary is in favor of “immediate peace.”
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