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30 Aug, 2023 14:34

Kiev rejects peace advice from NATO country’s leader

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban has urged the US to drop its “bad policy” of military confrontation with Russia and seek peace instead
Kiev rejects peace advice from NATO country’s leader

The Ukrainian Ministry of Foreign Affairs has lashed out at Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban, after he reiterated his stance that there can be no military victory for Ukraine and that the US needs to stop arming Kiev and seek peace with Russia instead.

Officials in Kiev “have been worried that Viktor Orban had not urged stopping weapon supplies to Ukraine and legitimizing the Russian aggression for some time,” Oleg Nikolayenko said somewhat sarcastically in a Facebook post on Wednesday, reacting to the Hungarian leader’s remarks.

“Ukraine does not sell out its territories or its sovereignty. And neither will the world,” the Ukrainian diplomat added.

Orban has long maintained that the West was making a mistake by pursuing military confrontation with Russia in Ukraine. He reiterated this assessment during an interview with US journalist Tucker Carlson, which he published on Wednesday on X (formerly Twitter).

Carlson asked Orban about his opinion of the Ukraine conflict and whether NATO had provoked it, which is the position of the former Fox News host. The Hungarian leader suggested that Ukraine could have been brought into NATO in 2008, when the possibility was raised by the US, despite Russian objections.

“Russia was not strong enough to stop it, so there was a real chance at the time to integrate the Ukrainians into NATO. But it was rejected” by European allies, he said.

Now Russia is stronger, so “the window of opportunity is not open anymore.” The US-led bloc “cannot afford” having Ukraine as a member bordering a hostile Russia, Orban argued.

“We should make a deal with the Russians on a new security architecture to provide security, sovereignty to Ukraine, but not membership in NATO,” he urged.

The Ukraine policy promoted by NATO is aligned with the US approach, which seeks to “crush” Russia with Ukrainian hands, Orban explained, adding that this “bad strategy” has not worked and should be dropped in favor of peace talks, which, he pointed out, is what Budapest has been advocating since the start of the conflict.

Kiev is losing its troops, including ethnic Hungarians, and will run out of manpower long before Moscow does, the prime minister estimated. But if any Western nation were to put boots on the ground in Ukraine, it would be a direct Western war with Russia resulting in a world war, he warned.