Europe

EU needs new strategy for dealing with Russia-Ukraine war: Hungarian president

‘There will be no peace without a change of strategy,’ says Viktor Orban

Askin Kiyagan   | 29.07.2022
EU needs new strategy for dealing with Russia-Ukraine war: Hungarian president

VIENNA 

The European Union needs to “change their strategy” in dealing with the Russia-Ukraine war and focus on peace talks and drafting peace proposals rather than winning, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban said Thursday.

"There will be no peace without a change of strategy. We cannot solve any problem without peace," said Orban, speaking at a press conference with Austrian Chancellor Karl Nehammer in Vienna.

Orban claimed that Ukraine is fighting against Russia with the support of NATO and that the war cannot be won with this method.

He said if steps are not taken for peace, the EU might face a war economy.

"If there is an economic downturn, this will increase unemployment rates, which will present us with serious problems in terms of economic and political stability," he warned.

He further said that it is not possible to destabilize Moscow with sanctions.

The view that the EU will maintain political stability without experiencing economic problems despite the sanctions is not an appropriate strategy, Orban noted.

Claiming that Arab countries, India and China are not on the EU’s side regarding its strategy, he said: "As Hungary, we say that this strategy should be changed."

Orban said previously that Hungary did not want to support the EU’s embargo or restrictions on Russian gas imports as part of the bloc’s sanctions package against Moscow over the war.

He underlined, however, that Hungary complies with all the sanctions decisions of the EU against Russia, adding Brussels' statements on natural gas savings or how much gas a country will store or use are not being responded to positively.

He said each country should make their own decisions regarding their energy needs.

For his part, Nehammer said Hungary is an important ally for Austria, particularly regarding security.

He said that in addition to various ongoing problems, the issue of irregular migration is a serious one and they are working closely with Budapest on this, but a different strategy is needed.

Pointing out the importance of Austria, Hungary and Serbia coming together to address the issue of irregular migration, Nehammer said that steps should be taken against irregular migrants concentrated on the borders of these countries on the migration route.

Criticizing Orban’s recent remarks on migration in which he spoke against creating “peoples of mixed race” in Europe, Nehammer said: "We oppose and strongly condemn any statement that would normalize…racism or anti-Semitism."

Orban, however, defended his remarks.

“It happens sometimes that I speak in a way that can be misunderstood…the position that I represent is a cultural, civilizational standpoint,” he said.

Noting that his country will continue to protect its borders against irregular migration, Orban claimed that 100,000 irregular migrants will come to Austria if Hungary and Serbia do not protect their borders properly.

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