Orbán suggests Ukraine serve as buffer zone between West, Russia

Orbán suggests Ukraine serve as buffer zone between West, Russia

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán said Ukraine must become a buffer zone between Russia and NATO, otherwise it will "lose its territory" because the Russians will attack the country "over and over."

The pro-Russian head of the Hungarian government said this in an interview with the former Chancellor of Austria, Wolfgang Schüssel, as part of Die Presse's European Voices project.

"Whether we like it or not, whether Ukrainians like it or not, on the world map Ukraine is where it is. The best prospect for them would be to become a buffer zone between Russia and the West – of course, with security guarantees. If it doesn’t happen, Ukraine will lose its territory. The Russians will be destroying Ukraine over and over, and over, and over. Russia will never accept such a member of the EU and NATO as Ukraine on its doorstep. Never," Orban said.

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This is how the Hungarian prime minister reacted to the comment by Austria’s ex-chancellor, who believes that there is only "one decision that makes sense" - "the immediate launch of negotiations on Ukraine's membership in the EU and NATO and the simultaneous start of negotiations on a ceasefire." Commenting on Orbán's answer, Schüssel said "you can't just stand aside and do nothing while Russia unhinderedly takes over Ukraine." He also recalled the Hungarian revolution of 1956, which was suppressed by Soviet troops, and that back then, Hungarians, like Ukrainians today, sacrificed their lives "for their independence, for their freedom, and for Europe."

Meanwhile, the head of the Hungarian government said Ukrainians now "do not protect Europe, unlike Hungary at that time." "Ukraine does not offer us, Europeans, any additional security because most of us are already members of NATO, which is much stronger than Russia. There is no threat that Russia will attack a NATO ally," Orban said.

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The prime minister of Hungary also said that "two weeks before the start of the war" he was in Moscow and he "had the feeling that an invasion was possible." According to Orbán, after his Russia, he shared with NATO secretary general his impressions, telling him that "the Russians believe sooner or later they will have to resolve the conflict with Ukraine by force if Ukraine wants to join NATO."

According to Orbán, back in 2008, he said that the only way to avoid war was to "immediately start negotiations on Ukraine's future membership in NATO." "Most likely, there would be no agreement regarding Ukraine, but at least we would have some time to think about how to free ourselves from Russia's extremely confrontational attitude," he said.

The Hungarian prime minister also believes that at that time Russia was "too weak to block the expansion of NATO, which also involved Ukraine."

Commenting on the question "How can you continue to trust Russia?" Orbán said the EU's problem is that "we lack strength". "We, Europeans, are not strong enough for the Russians to take us seriously. This is a game of power. This is war. Therefore, we must show strength and clearly convey our position to the Russians: we have interests, they have interests – we can make deals on such a basis," he said.

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When the Austrian ex-chancellor remarked that "agreeing to a ceasefire now would mean the de facto defeat of Ukraine," Orbán replied that "it depends on how you see future" and added: "The Ukrainians could lose even more territory, maybe even this war".

At the same time, he claimed people in Europe are now "unsatisfied with the fact that their governments are providing Ukraine with more and more financial support" and therefore "we cannot afford to give Ukraine with financial means that would allow them to achieve a military victory."

As reported, in November 2023, during the OSCE Ministerial Council in Skopje, the head of the Hungarian Foreign Ministry called for an end to the supply of weapons to Ukraine because it "prolongs the war."

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