This war cannot be won; we need a ceasefire
“According to all sober calculations,” the war in Ukraine cannot be won, also for this reason we need an immediate ceasefire, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán stressed regarding the conflict between Russia and Ukraine on Kossuth Radio’s programme ‘Good morning, Hungary’ on Friday.
He added that following this the parties can engage in peace talks, at the end of which we will find out what kind of a peace can be brokered.
Mr Orbán described the resolution adopted by the UN General Assembly on Thursday, urging peace in Ukraine, as “a pro-peace document,” observing that this is the majority position in the world regarding the conflict.
The Prime Minister stressed: Russia cannot win the war because in support of Ukraine the West is mobilising weapons, energy and money in such quantities that according to “all human calculations” it is impossible to win an open military conflict against such a force. He added that this was true the other way around as well: those who believe that Russia – which is a nuclear power – can be defeated are wrong.
“Meaning that neither party can win this war. Only the number of victims will keep rising by the hundreds, thousands, tens of thousands.” Therefore, the sober position dictates a ceasefire, he laid down.
In the context of the one-year anniversary of the outbreak of the Russo-Ukrainian war, the Prime Minister also stressed that beyond the fact that many people are being killed and an inconceivable amount of physical wealth is being destroyed, what makes the handling of the situation truly difficult is that the military goals are unclear. He said in continuation that when in a war the military goals are unclear, it is very easy to lose your way because there is no point of reference against which to measure the decisions in which you undertake sacrifices also to the detriment of your own nation and your own citizens.
He added that Ukraine is defending its freedom as it has been attacked, and wants to ward off the consequences of the act of aggression perpetrated against it, but it is unclear exactly what that means. Will the Ukrainians hit the territory of Russia with military strikes; how far back do they want to push the Russian troops; will the Crimean Peninsula come under siege or not? the Prime Minister listed the questions.
The reason for having been dragged into the war is not only that “we westerners made a flawed decision” when instead of localising the conflict, we elevated it to a pan-European war, but we also made the mistake of not making it clear for ourselves where the limit to providing assistance for Ukraine lies, Mr Orbán continued, observing that instead all documents in the European Union lay down: “for as long as it takes, cost what it may”. It is difficult to engage in a war under such circumstances, he pointed out.
The Prime Minister said Europeans will continue to be dragged into the war, and members of the Hungarian public are not far from hearing proposals that we should send peacekeeping forces or other military troops to the territory of Ukraine.
He laid down at the same time that NATO, of which Hungary is also a member, is a defence, not a war alliance, and there is no passage in its statutes that would empower the organisation and would oblige the Member States to engage in a military campaign aimed at a joint attack on a non-NATO Member State.
NATO Member States – if they so wish – may set up such war alliances outside the boundaries of NATO, but cannot drag in NATO members that do not wish to take part in them, he stressed. In a legal and moral sense, Hungary’s position rests on the fact that NATO is a defence, not a war alliance, he stated.
He pointed out that the general discourse on the war makes no mention of the fact that the war is also affecting the Hungarian community living in Transcarpathia. While Hungary is being criticised in Brussels and they are trying to exert pressure on us, we are the only country in the European Union that is – despite being neither Russian, nor Ukrainian – compelled to sacrifice human lives, he added. We demand more respect for the Hungarians of Transcarpathia in Brussels, in Washington and also in Kiev, he laid down.
The Prime Minister also said if Sweden and Finland expect Hungary to be fair and to consent to their NATO membership, then these countries, too, should be fair and should stop spreading lies about Hungary.
He stressed that the government asked Parliament to support the two countries’ membership. However, a part of the government party groups in Parliament are “not enthused”. Among others because these countries are spreading obvious lies about our democracy, and the state of the rule of law in Hungary, he explained, adding that others within the parliamentary groups take the view that direct border contact of the length of more than a thousand kilometres between Russia and Finland would pose a risk.
Mr Orbán also said Turkey’s concerns lie in the fact that, in their view, terrorist organisations working against Turkey operate in Sweden. They are our allies, too, we must hear their voice as well, said the Prime Minister, commenting on Turkey’s reservations.
In the radio interview, Prime Minister Orbán further highlighted that in consequence of the energy prices that had increased drastically due to the sanctions, last year Hungary paid HUF 4,000 billion more for the same amount of energy than the year before; there would be plenty of things to spend this money on. However, as a result of a misguided Brussels decision, this amount “is being taken out of the Hungarian people’s pockets,” they are making us pay the price of the flawed sanctions decision.
He stressed that in March the pace of inflation would start slowing down, and by December inflation would fall back to a single digit.
He said the government had adopted the decisions – twenty decisions in total – that could be and had to be adopted in the fight against inflation.
He recalled that right from the beginning Hungary had made it clear: the policy of sanctions is not the right path because it causes the country immediate and direct losses.
He said others might well have also foreseen what would happen; meaning that some may have speculated on the sanctions and their consequences, against the people’s interests. Speculators, George Soros and quite a few big funds made money hand over fist on the European Union’s sanctions decision; let us hope in good faith that there was no collusion between the decision-makers and the speculators, he said.
Regarding the issue of child protection, Mr Orbán laid down that in Hungary children were sacred and inviolable; Hungary must have Europe’s most stringent child protection system.
He said he expected “a very clear answer” during the course of the day today from the Interior Minister about “where representatives of the state whose duty it would be to watch over our children are”. “I also expect them to uncover each and every case; these are very embarrassing, very painful incidents, but if we sweep them under the carpet, their number will only increase,” Mr Orbán pointed out.
He added that “we can only protect our children against gender ideology” if we showcase the threats emerging on the horizon, “and here the state has a duty.”
He highlighted that whoever deprived parents of the possibility of taking care of their children’s education and safety violated the public moral perception that was the norm in Hungary.