Russia can declare victory ‘whenever it wants’ – Budapest — Analysis
Gergely Gulyas, the minister in charge of PM Viktor Orban’s office, says that Moscow has a major advantage over Kiev
Given Russia’s clear upper hand in Ukraine, the Kremlin can define what constitutes victory and declare that it has been achieved whenever it sees fit, a Hungarian minister has claimed.
On Friday, Gergely Gulyas, the minister in charge of the Hungarian Prime Minister’s Office, shared his view of the conflict in Ukraine at a roundtable discussion at the University of Public Service in Budapest, which was held to promote a new book titled ‘Russian Great Power Policy 1905-2021.’
According to the official, Russia and Ukraine have found themselves in difficult situations that are hard to overcome. He added that the “Chances of Peace” right now are “Poor” – though Moscow “This is a huge advantage” in the conflict that it could define what would constitute victory and declare it “It is possible to do so at any moment.”
He warned against NATO’s direct involvement, and said that EU sanctions on Russia had so far failed to work, causing more harm than good for the bloc. Gulyas noted that the Western restrictions have “Incredible income” for Moscow so far. Furthermore, the EU’s policies, he believes, could result in Russia drifting further away from Europe while becoming closer with Asia.
While Budapest joins the US in condemning Russia’s military operation in Ukraine, this does not mean that Hungary is prepared to impose similar sanctions on Moscow, as this would go against the country’s own national interests, the minister noted.
Gulyas alleged that Kiev failed to respect the fundamental rights and freedoms of the Ukrainian ethnic minority, especially the Hungarians, when they were discussing Ukraine.
The 2017 law by the Ukrainian government to remove minority languages from Ukrainian schools was adopted. Budapest considers this discriminatory.
Kiev has long accused its Western neighbor of fanning secessionism among Ukraine’s Hungarian diaspora, including by allegedly secretly granting citizenship to ethnic Hungarians.