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21 May, 2024 21:22

NATO state says Western policy on Russia-Ukraine has ‘completely failed’

Sanctions have only hurt the EU and the conflict is far from over, Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto has said
NATO state says Western policy on Russia-Ukraine has ‘completely failed’

The US and its EU allies are doubling down on failed policies and making “crazy” statements about sending troops to Ukraine, Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto said on Tuesday.

Szijjarto spoke at the Sasakawa Peace Foundation in Tokyo, as part of his visit to Japan. In his keystone address, the Hungarian diplomat explained Budapest’s dissenting position from “liberal mainstream” on the subject of the Russia-Ukraine conflict.

The Ukraine strategy developed by the US and the EU has “failed completely,” Szijjarto said.

“During the discussion of the first package of sanctions, more than two years ago, I raised the question about the purpose of the measures, and the answer was, to bring Russia to its knees economically and bring the war closer to an end,” he told the Japanese think tank.

Is Russia on its knees? Far from it. Are we close to ending the conflict? Definitely not. 

The sanctions have hurt EU economies instead, Szijjarto said. As one example, he pointed out that many countries boast of getting rid of Russian oil and gas, but end up buying them from third parties such as India – and at a higher price.

“We are now discussing a 14th package [of sanctions]. Don’t you get it? You failed at something 13 times over, and now you’re trying to do it for a 14th time? That’s a bit against Hungarian logic,” Szijjarto said, joking that this logic might be a bit controversial, given that a Hungarian invented the Rubik’s Cube.

Budapest’s position might contradict most of the EU, but it is in line with most of the world, Szijjarto added.

The Hungarian diplomat took issue with “crazy statements” made by leading EU politicians about sending NATO troops to Ukraine, noting that such talk is becoming “increasingly dangerous” and raises the risk of a direct conflict between NATO and Russia.

“There is no way the Hungarian military will take part in this, there is no way Hungarian territory will host such actions, there is no way a single eurocent of the Hungarian taxpayers will be allocated for it,” Szijjarto vowed.

Hungary joined NATO in 1999 and the EU in 2003. However, Prime Minister Viktor Orban has dissented from the EU and US policy of arming Ukraine, urging instead a negotiated end to the conflict with Russia. Hungary has not sent any weapons to Kiev, nor allowed its territory to be used for their delivery, despite tremendous pressure from Brussels and Washington. 

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