Sanctions bring us closer and closer to war

PM Orbán: If we continue what we have been doing, and see Europe as being part of this war, we will be drawn deeper into the conflict

Just days after the tragic incident in Poland, where two people were killed by a missile that landed near the Polish-Ukrainian border, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán shared his views on Kossuth Rádió regarding the current state of the war in Ukraine and the possible dangers of Europe’s growing involvement in it.

According to the prime minister, the recent events in Poland clearly show that “if war is in your neighborhood, you can't feel safe either.” Alongside the tragic death of Polish nationals who had nothing to do with the war, the missile strikes caused damage to key energy infrastructure, meaning not only our physical safety is at risk, but also the security of our economy.

PM Orbán said he fears that if we continue down the same path, and see Europe as part of this war, “we will be drawn deeper and deeper into this conflict, and the threat we face will become more and more powerful.”

Europe’s involvement in this war has been primarily through its sanctions against Russia, as around six months ago, policy makers hoped that such a move would bring about peace quickly. Instead, sanctions have proven to be futile.

This involvement through sanctions, according to the prime minister, was and is a “step towards war.” In his view, while sanctions are an economic measure, by intervening in a military conflict, “you are also taking a stand and a step towards one of the warring parties” and as such towards war.

PM Orbán said what Europe is doing is very dangerous, adding that “we are trying to restrain them, to keep them from doing this; we are speaking the language of peace, we want a ceasefire, we want peace, but almost nobody else is following this line.”

He said that this escalation progressed from Europe being cautious and neutral at the start of the war to it today delivering lethal weapons, sanctioning crucial energy supplies and industries, and training Ukrainian soldiers on neutral soil. And now, there is the notion that Europe must maintain the financial stability of the Ukrainian state. “So it is clear that step by step we are sliding into this war,” the prime minister said.

Regarding sanctions, to PM Orbán, it seems that EU policy makers “do not want to understand how what they are doing now will affect the situation tomorrow, the day after that, or even in the medium term.” They do not want to grasp that this will result in “more harm to us than to the Russians we targeted,” as due to these sanctions “the entire European economy is sinking.”

PM Orbán said, “Hungary has never supported sanctions, nor did we vote for them.”

The prime minister said that Hungary must and will represent a clear stance, both at home and in international politics. “An entire nation shares the interests of this community, our community, the community of Hungarians, and this is what the government represents,” he said.