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Orban claims Ukraine can't win war, Kyiv pledges to fight until complete liberation of Ukrainian territories

by The Kyiv Independent news desk May 23, 2023 8:41 PM 2 min read
Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban reacts as he addresses an annual press conference in Budapest on Dec. 21, 2022. (ATTILA KISBENEDEK/AFP via Getty Images)
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Foreign Ministry spokesperson Oleh Nikolenko responded to Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban's statement that Ukraine couldn't win the war with Russia, saying that "Ukrainians will continue to fight until the complete liberation of their territories from Russian occupation."

"This is the only way not only to restore peace in Ukraine but also to guarantee the security of all of Europe," added Nikolenko.

In an interview with Bloomberg published on May 23, Orban claimed "the battlefield solution" to Russia's war against Ukraine "didn't work," adding that "the question is not who invaded who, the question is what would be the next morning."

"The next morning, the fact is that more and more people will die, and there is no chance to have a victory on either side. So this is the war which deprived many people of lives without having results," said Orban.

Nikolenko condemned Orban's words as "absolving" Russia of responsibility for its aggression against Ukraine.

In the Bloomberg interview, the Hungarian PM echoed Russian propaganda narratives positioning the war as a conflict between Moscow and Washington.

He also repeated his call for an immediate ceasefire, which would likely force Kyiv to make concessions at the negotiating table.

On May 18, Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto said that his country wouldn't support the sanctions package and the 500 million euro military support tranche for Ukraine unless Kyiv removed Hungary's OTP Bank from its list of "international sponsors of war."

Hungary has been under fierce criticism from fellow European Union member states for its continued ties to Russia following the full-scale invasion of Ukraine.

Foreign Ministry criticizes Orbán’s claim Ukraine is financially ‘non-existent’ country
Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Oleh Nikolenko has criticized Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s comment that Ukraine was a financially “non-existent” country, calling the remark “cynical” given the amount of aid Hungary also receives from the EU.
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