The European Union needs a new strategy on the war in Ukraine because sanctions against Moscow have not worked, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban said on Saturday.
“A new strategy is needed that should focus on peace talks and on developing a good peace proposal… instead of winning the war,” Orban said in a speech in Romania.
Orban, re-elected for a fourth consecutive term in April, reiterated that Hungary – a NATO member – will stay out of the war in neighboring Ukraine.
He faces his toughest challenge since taking power in 2010, with double-digit inflation, a weak forint and EU funds still withheld amid a row with Brussels over democratic standards.
Orban has previously said that Hungary is unwilling to support EU embargoes or restrictions on Russian gas imports, as that would undermine its economy, which is about 85 percent dependent on Russian gas imports.
He said in his speech that the Western strategy on Ukraine was built on four pillars – that Ukraine could win a war against Russia with NATO weapons, that sanctions would weaken Russia and destabilize its leadership, that sanctions would hurt Russia more than Europe and that the world will align itself in support of Europe.
Orban said this strategy has failed because governments in Europe are collapsing “like dominoes”, energy prices have skyrocketed and a new strategy is needed now.
“We are sitting in a car that has all four flat tires: it is absolutely clear that the war cannot be won this way,” Orban told his supporters.
He said that Ukraine will never win the war this way “simply because the Russian army has asymmetric dominance”.
Orban said there is no chance for peace talks between Russia and Ukraine.
“Since Russia wants security guarantees, this war can only end with peace talks between Russia and America,” he said.
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