Prime Minister Viktor Orban says he doesn’t believe the West can win militarily in Ukraine and argues that sanctions are failing
The deadly conflict in Ukraine has the potential to “demonstratively” put an end to Western hegemony globally, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban has claimed.
In an interview with German online magazine Tichys Einblick, published on Thursday, Orban said he expects the European Union to emerge weaker in the global arena once the fighting in Ukraine is over.
The Hungarian leader argued that the West is incapable of winning the conflict militarily, and that the sanctions it has imposed on Moscow have failed to destabilize Russia. To make matters worse, the punitive measures have spectacularly backfired on Europe, he said.
Orban also noted that a “large part of the world” is clearly not getting behind the US when it comes to Ukraine. He pointed to “the Chinese, Indians, Brazilians, South Africa, the Arab world, Africa” as regions not supporting the Western line on the conflict.
“It is quite possible that it will be this war that will demonstratively put an end to Western supremacy,” Orban said.
On the other hand, non-EU powers are already benefiting from the situation, he said, pointing toward Russia, which “has its own energy sources.”
The premier noted that while EU energy imports from Russia have plummeted, Russia’s majority state-owned gas giant Gazprom has seen its revenues skyrocket.
Beijing, too, is now better off than before the start of the conflict, Orban claimed. He explained that China had previously been “at the mercy of the Arabs,” but is not anymore, apparently referring to the oil market.
The other beneficiaries, in the Hungarian prime minister’s view, are “big American corporations.” To prove his point, Orban pointed to profits doubling for Exxon, quadrupling for Chevron and increasing six-fold for ConocoPhillips.
While going along with EU sanctions against Russia, Hungary has maintained a neutral stance since the outbreak of the conflict, by not providing either side with weapons or making any harsh statements against Moscow or Kiev.
Budapest has insisted that it cannot not risk the security of Hungarians, and will not be dragged into the conflict.
Moreover, Orban and other Hungarian top officials have repeatedly criticized some of the EU sanctions, claiming that they harm the EU more than they do Russia.
Back in May, Hungary entered into a direct confrontation with the EU leadership over a Russian oil embargo. Budapest lifted its veto only after it carved out an exemption for the fuel imported via pipelines.