Hungarian official says EU is the losing side in Ukraine conflict

The EU has already suffered defeat regardless of the outcome on the battlefield, the parliament speaker insists

The EU has suffered severe political and economic damage from its handling of the situation in Ukraine, and can already be declared the loser in the conflict, the speaker of Hungary’s National Assembly claimed on Sunday.

Laszlo Kover, who is a member of Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s Fidesz party, accused Brussels of failing to prevent the conflict through political means, with the result that it’s “unable to restore peace diplomatically.”

“Under external pressure, the EU is acting against its most basic economic interests and should already be considered a loser, regardless of which of the parties directly involved in fighting will declare itself the winner,” he said.

Powers outside Europe are trying to condemn the bloc’s members to “military vulnerability, political subjugation, economic and energy incapacity, financial indebtedness and social disintegration,” with Brussels helping them to achieve this goal, the parliament speaker claimed.

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Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban (R) and Russian President Vladimir Putin address a press conference. © AFP / Attila Kisbenedek
Hungary on ‘edge of abyss’ in EU — Czech minister

The EU is grappling with soaring natural gas prices, the prospect of energy shortages in winter and spiking inflation in the wake of sanctions it imposed on Russia over its military operation in Ukraine.

Brussels has largely followed the US stance of seeking to weaken Russia through sanctions, while supplying Kiev with weapons and financial aid.

Hungary has maintained relatively neutral since the outbreak of the fighting in late February. It has refused to send arms to Ukraine and remained critical of the EU sanctions against Moscow, calling them ill-conceived and self-defeating. Budapest, which is heavily dependent on Russian energy, was also able to negotiate an exemption for itself from the bloc-wide ban on Russian oil.

Last week, Mikulas Bek the European affairs minister of the Czech Republic, which now presides over the EU Council, has warned that Hungary’s stance on Russia could theoretically end up with it exiting the bloc. The country “has come a long way, reaching the edge of an abyss, and now it has to decide whether to go back from that edge or risk a jump,” Bek said.