Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán heavily criticized the “disastrous” EU sanctions against Russia and called for an immediate ceasefire.
„The EU’s policy of sanctions against Russia is primitive in its implementation and disastrous in its effects”, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán said on Tuesday in Berlin, in a panel discussion with the editor-in-chief of the political magazine Cicero and the owner of the publishing company of the Berliner Zeitung newspaper.
Brussels’ sanctions policy is “neglecting European interests” and “destroying” the German and Hungarian economies while helping Moscow to make as much money in six months selling energy resources as it did in a year, the Prime Minister said.
He underlined that it was not the instrument itself that he objected to: sanctions should only be imposed “intelligently” and only from the position of the stronger party. He explained that Brussels’ policy has led to a situation where “a dwarf sanctions a giant”, and “the dwarf dies”. “If we had got the sanctions right, energy prices would not be sky high”, the Prime Minister underlined.
According to Viktor Orbán, in the longer term, the European interest is not to replace Russian energy dependence with US energy dependence, because Europe’s interest as a buyer is that there are four or five offers on the table, from which it can choose on the basis of economic or political considerations.
“We do not want to change masters, we want independence”,
Viktor Orbán said.
The Prime Minister stressed that „Hungary is part of the peace camp”, and favors immediate ceasefire and peace negotiations.
„The ceasefire should not be between Ukraine and Russia, but between the United States and Russia. The realities of power show that it must be negotiated with the Americans,”
The Prime Minister reminded that at the time of the Russian attack on Crimea in 2014, a serious international crisis was avoided because the Germans, led by then Chancellor Angela Merkel, immediately initiated negotiations. Orbán said it was a mistake that while he had visited Russian President Vladimir Putin on a peace mission before the war, „no one on the Western side felt the need to negotiate”.
Viktor Orbán said that US President Joe Biden had gone too far when, among other things, he called Putin a war criminal or a mass murderer. „The hope for peace is, therefore, former US President Donald Trump,” he said.
Photos via Miniszterelnöki Sajtóiroda/Fischer Zoltán