29th Sep 2023

Orbán: West should focus on 'peace' not winning in Ukraine

  • Hungary's premier Viktor Orbán cited demographics, migration and gender as the main battlefields of the future — despite the Ukraine war and EU energy crisis (Photo: Council of the European Union)
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Hungary's prime minister Viktor Orbán has said that the West needs a new strategy on the war in Ukraine, as sanctions against Moscow have not worked.

In his annual mood-setting speech to his supporters in Băile Tuşnad, Romania, Orbán also predicted the twilight of the West, saying it was being pushed back in the world in terms of power, wealth and resources. He said this is the beginning of a multipolar world.

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Orbán said the Western strategy on Ukraine has been built on four pillars: that Ukraine can win a war against Russia with Nato weapons, that sanctions would weaken Russia and destabilise its leadership, that sanctions would hurt Russia more than Europe, and that the world would line up in support of Europe.

"We are sitting in a car that has a puncture in all four tyres. It is absolutely clear that the war cannot be won in this way," Orbán said.

He said Ukraine will never win the war this way "quite simply because the Russian army has asymmetrical dominance".

Orbán said this strategy has failed as governments in Europe are collapsing "like dominos", energy prices have surged and a new strategy was needed.

He said that under the new strategy the EU should stand between Ukraine and Russia, not stand with Ukraine. The goal should be not winning the war, but negotiating peace, the Hungarian PM said.

He said there was no chance for peace talks between Russia and Ukraine.

"The more modern weapons Nato gives the Ukrainians, the more the Russians will push the frontline forward. What we are doing is prolonging the war," Orbán said.

"As Russia wants security guarantees, this war can be ended only with peace talks between Russia and America," he said, adding that Russia will never attack the Nato.

The Hungarian PM said the cold war era could re-emerge, saying that "many leaders are working to organise our life in a 'bloc world'".

Orbán dismissed the EU Commission's energy plans, saying that the executive wants to take energy away from those who have it, instead of telling Germany not to shut down its nuclear power plants. He argued that the US is pushing Europeans to buy its energy resources.

At the same time, Orbán accused of western Europeans of trying to split the Visegrad Four, a cooperation of central European countries.

Orbán, echoing Russian propaganda, said the reason for the war against Ukraine is that the West refused to negotiate on Russian security guarantees.

He said if Donald Trump and Angela Merkel had still been in office, the war would not have happened.

Hungary is an EU and Nato member, but has been pursuing a more neutral policy towards Ukraine, and has secured domestic exemptions from the EU oil embargo.

'Mixed species'

Orbán named demographics, migration and gender as the main battlefields of the future — despite the Ukraine war and EU energy crisis.

"This is the major historic battle we fight: demography, migration and gender," he said.

In his speech, Orbán also cited the "great replacement" theory, which claims there is a plot to dilute the white populations of the US and European countries through immigration.

He said that by 2050 there will be a final demographical shift, when western European big cities' populations originally from non-European countries will be over 50 percent.

Orbán said these "mixed populations" in the "post-West" are not nations any more, but a "conglomerate of people".

Orbán said it was "an ideological trick of the internationalist left to say the European population is already mixed-race".

"We [Hungarians] are not a mixed race … and we do not want to become a mixed race," said Orbán, saying central Europeans mix among themselves but not with non-Europeans.

Orbán has traditionally set out his world vision in his annual speech in Romania. In 2014, he set out his "illiberal state" vision at a similar speech.

Orbán has won a consecutive forth term in office in April, but faces a tough economic challenge as inflation and energy prices are sharply increasing, and the forint is weakening.

Orbán dismissed protestors who demonstrated in pervious weeks against his tax increase hitting small entrepreneurs, calling them "drug-addicts".

The Hungarian nationalist leader next month is due to travel to Dallas, Texas, where he will address CPAC, a large gathering of American conservatives.

Earlier this year, CPAC hosted a special session of the conference in Budapest.

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Hungary's prime minister Viktor Orbán is facing one of his biggest challenges of his more than a decade-long rule, as the economic pressures keep mounting, and EU funds remain suspended due to rule-of-law concerns.

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EU agriculture commissioner Janusz Wojciechowski has backed extending the temporary ban on Ukrainian grain imports in five frontline countries until the end of 2023 — and proposed providing subsidies for Ukrainian grain exporters.

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