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17 Feb, 2024 11:04

West not prepared to wage ‘endless war’ against Russia – Hungary

Budapest will continue to refrain from supplying weapons to Kiev, Defense Minister Kristof Szalay-Bobrovniczky has said
West not prepared to wage ‘endless war’ against Russia – Hungary

The West is not ready to supply Ukraine with weapons for its conflict with Russia indefinitely, Hungarian Defense Minister Kristof Szalay-Bobrovniczky said in an address at a Business Leaders Forum in Budapest on Friday.

Kiev has been asking its Western backers for more financing and weapons, as it faces severe personnel and ammo shortages on the front lines. However, the EU is yet to finalize its next aid package to Kiev, while US lawmakers failed to approve additional funding for Ukraine before going on winter break earlier this week.

According to Szalay-Bobrovniczky, “we, the West, are waging a war [against Russia] in which the Ukrainians are fighting with Western money, Western weapons, and Western ammunition.” He stressed, however, that in terms of weapon systems, ammunition, and other supplies, the West is not prepared strategically to shoulder a “seemingly endless war.”

Calling the Ukraine conflict a “terrible massacre,” he claimed that it has changed the balance of power and the economic situation in Europe. According to Szalay-Bobrovniczky, while Hungary continues to resist supplying weapons to Ukraine and “will not change this position under any pressure,” the country should strengthen its own military force so that it can protect itself from outside threats.

Hungary has taken a neutral stance on the conflict, calling for an immediate ceasefire and the start of peace negotiations. Budapest has also criticized Brussels’ sanctions on Moscow, arguing that they are hurting the EU more than Russia, given the economic problems the bloc has faced over the past two years, including soaring inflation and a slump in economic growth. Hungary had opposed the EU’s move to provide Kiev with another €50 billion ($54 billion) in aid, but eventually lifted its veto amid pressure from Brussels. The package is expected to be approved by the European Parliament by the end of the month.

Russia has condemned the Western deliveries of weaponry to Ukraine, warning that further military aid to Kiev will only prolong the conflict.

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