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One Cannot Negotiate Peace While Calling the Other Party a “War Criminal”, says Viktor Orbán

Dániel Deme 2023.06.27.

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán was interviewed by the German magazine Bild. During the discussion he expressed his views on the war in Ukraine, as well as answered the question whether he thinks that Russian President Vladimir Putin should be considered a war criminal.

During the interview the Hungarian Prime Minister said that he did not ascribe much significance to the recent capture of a Russian city by Wagner mercenaries. In his words, this happening was a clear sign of weakness, yet because it was over in 24 hours, it was also a sign of strength from the part of the Kremlin. In Viktor Orbán’s opinion, speculation regarding Vladimir Putin’s fall from power means that many do not understand the Russian people and Russian power structures. “This is Russia. Russia works and functions differently than European countries”, opined the Prime Minister.

Asked by the journalist, Viktor Orbán also predicted that Vladimir Putin will stay on as President after the 2024 elections in Russia. “That is the reality. Russia works differently than we do. The structures in Russia are very stable. They are based on the army, the secret service, the police, so it is a different kind of country, a military-oriented country”, he stressed.

Asked if he is a friend of Putin, Viktor Orbán replied that telling Hungarians that they are pro-Russians or friends of the Russians contradicts their historic experience.

I am fighting for Hungary. I do not care about Putin. I do not care about Russia. I care about Hungary”,

he replied.

He stressed that everything that is happening now between Russia and Ukraine is bad for Hungarians. It is dangerous for them, because members of the Hungarian minority living in Ukraine have lost their lives in the fighting. He pointed out that the danger comes from the fact that the war is in Hungary’s neighborhood.

It is not like you guys, you are Germans, you have Poland and Hungary between Russia and the Ukrainian war.”

He expressed hope that the Ukrainians have a chance to survive this conflict but maintained that one must also stand on the “ground of reality”. In his view the reality is that the current Western approach to Ukraine is doomed for failure, as the Ukrainians will run out of soldiers sooner than Russians. In his view, the opinions that Ukraine can win a war against Russia is based on a misunderstanding of the situation. “It is impossible”, claimed Viktor Orbán.

The Hungarian Prime Minister stressed the importance of peace talks because he feared that Ukraine will continue to lose a huge amount of wealth and many lives, while suffering unimaginable destruction. Peace at this moment means ceasefire, he explained.

As to voices calling for the liberation of all lost Ukrainian territories, the politician replied by saying that what really matters is what the Americans’ intentions are, because Ukraine is no longer a sovereign country: they do not have money nor weapons. They can only fight because we in the West support them. There will only be peace if and when the Americans decide so.

He also maintained that there should have been peace negotiations from the very beginning. To prevent this war from becoming global, it must be isolated, and a shift must be made from the military solution back to the politicians and diplomats, because this war should not have happened.

When asked whether Vladimir Putin is a war criminal he replied by saying – “No. Not for me.” We are in a war, and we can talk about war crimes after the war.

If you want a ceasefire and then negotiate, we have to convince those who are part of the conflict to come to the table.

Asking them to come to the table and threatening them with arrest at the same time is not a good idea. One can only discuss the legal consequences and criminal consequences of the invasion only as part of peace process. It is therefore completely inappropriate to talk about this topic at present, said the Hungarian Prime Minister.

Minister on Ukraine Reconstruction Funds and the Path to Ending the War
Minister on Ukraine Reconstruction Funds and the Path to Ending the War

Péter Szijjártó also touched on the armed conflict between Wagner Group and the Russian military leadership.Continue reading

Via Bild.de, Featured Photo: Facebook Viktor Orbán

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