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3 Sep, 2023 07:38

EU nation calls for ‘security guarantees’ for Russia

NATO membership for Ukraine should be out of the question, the head of the Hungarian prime minister’s office has said
EU nation calls for ‘security guarantees’ for Russia

A lasting peace following the Ukraine conflict can only be achieved if Russia receives security guarantees from the West, Gergely Gulyas, the minister in charge of the Hungarian prime minister’s office, has said.

Speaking at a students’ event on Saturday, Gulyas stated that Kiev has no realistic chance of regaining the territories it claims as its own from Russia. He added that “it is also clear that Russia does not pose a threat to Central Europe” because Moscow has not been able to accomplish a quick and resounding victory in the conflict.

According to Gulyas, peace talks between Russia and Ukraine are impossible without the involvement of the US. He further stated that Kiev’s Western backers “must give security guarantees to Russia, but definitely not NATO membership to the Ukrainians,” adding that in the long run, peace between Moscow and Kiev could be maintained through the deployment of peacekeepers.

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban told former Fox News host Tucker Carlson last month that “without involving the Russians in a security architecture of Europe, we cannot provide a safe life for its citizens.” 

Hungary is not the only Western nation to call for Russian interests to be taken into account. Last December, French President Emmanuel Macron urged the West to think about how to provide security guarantees not only to Ukraine, but also to Russia, arguing that NATO must address Moscow’s concerns about the US-led military bloc “coming right up to its doors and deploying weapons that could threaten Russia.”

The debate over security guarantees for Russia heated up before the start of the Ukraine conflict when in December 2021, Moscow presented a list of demands to the US and NATO, asking the West to impose a ban on Ukraine entering the military bloc, while insisting that the alliance should retreat to its borders as of 1997 before it expanded. The overture, however, was rebuffed by the West.

President Vladimir Putin has repeatedly said that Ukrainian neutrality is an issue of “fundamental importance” to Russia, arguing that Kiev’s push to join NATO was one of the key reasons behind the military operation in the neighboring country.

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