EU nation backs Chinese peace plan
Hungary’s government supports Beijing’s peace plan for the ongoing conflict in Ukraine, Prime Minister Viktor Orban told parliament on Monday. The 12-point plan released by China last week calls for resuming peace talks and respecting the sovereignty and territorial integrity of all nations while condemning unilateral sanctions.
“We also consider China’s peace plan important and support it,” Orban told the lawmakers. In his half-hour-long speech, Orban insisted that the ongoing conflict was “bad for Ukrainians, Russians, Hungarians, Europe, and it is becoming increasingly clear [that] it is bad for the whole world.” The prime minister then maintained that Budapest should stay out of the conflict, as was decided through a “national consultation.”
The prime minister also criticized some opposition parties for being seemingly overzealous in their support for Kiev to the point where they barely “differentiated” between Ukraine and Hungary, but said that he agreed there should be a country between Russia and Hungary. “We respect the Ukrainians, we help the Ukrainians,” Orban said, adding, however, that “the interests of Ukraine can never precede the interests of Hungary.”
He also admitted that Ukraine was likely to eventually join NATO “sooner or later” while arguing that the bloc’s further expansion to the east “must be reconsidered ten thousand times.”
At the same time, Orban supported the accession of Sweden and Finland to NATO. He also described the military bloc as a guarantor of security, while admitting that he was not enthusiastic about everything that happens within NATO.
Meanwhile, Kiev’s backers in the West have brushed off Beijing’s proposals. NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said that China didn’t “have much credibility” in this issue as it refused to condemn Russia’s actions and join the Western sanctions.
Moscow earlier welcomed Chinese efforts aimed at resolving the ongoing conflict through peaceful means. Last Sunday, the Kremlin said, however, that it saw no opportunity for a political resolution of the conflict at the moment.
Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky recently maintained that there was “nothing to talk about” with Russia and “no one” in Moscow Kiev could talk to. His words came amid reported attempts by his Western backers, including France, Germany and the UK, to encourage Ukraine to engage in talks with Russia.