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Viktor Orbán Exposes Flaws in EU’s Approach to Russia-Ukraine Conflict

Orbán’s visit to Kyiv and Moscow exposes the EU’s flawed strategy of seeking peace without dialogue. His pragmatic approach contrasts with the EU’s hypocritical and rigid stance.

Viktor Orbán’s pragmatic diplomacy, despite his contentious reputation, highlights a significant shortfall in EU leadership regarding peace negotiations. His recent trip to Kyiv and Moscow to discuss negotiations contrasts sharply with the EU’s reluctance to engage with Russia directly, preferring instead to arm Ukraine and uphold a narrative of imminent victory. Orbán’s actions underscore the absurdity of aiming for a just peace while ignoring the necessity of dialogue with all involved parties, exposing the EU’s inflexible and hypocritical stance on the matter.

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by Marco Travaglio

We know everything about Viktor Orbán and forget nothing: leader of the Hungarian nationalist conservatives; prime minister from 1998-2002 and again since 2010; traditionalist, Eurosceptic, pro-Russia, pro-China, friend of Berlusconi and Netanyahu; cunning and pragmatic (he just voted for the socialist Costa as head of the EU Council); targeted by Brussels for his battles against civil rights and migrants, proud to have turned his country into an “illiberal democracy” (his words), which led to the EPP suspending his Fidesz party in 2019, and its subsequent departure in 2021 to join the far-right. But those who know everything about him should wonder how, after 28 months of war, we had to wait for Hungary’s EU presidency to see a normal gesture from a European leader: a trip to Kyiv and Moscow to talk about negotiations.

All the EU bigwigs and leaders of the 27 member states insist that the goal of the endless arms and billions sent to Kyiv is a peace negotiation, even though they comically add “just” (as if there’s ever been one in history). But even if they believed their nonsense about Kyiv’s imminent victory, how do they plan to achieve the famous just peace by only talking to Zelensky and not Putin? Talking doesn’t mean yielding or surrendering: it means asking both what conditions they set to sit at the table, discarding the unacceptable ones, and discussing the reasonable ones in light of the battlefield. Which is the real negotiation table. After almost two and a half years of lies (we’re winning), childish whims (we want everything), and hundreds of thousands of deaths, everyone knows the war can only end in three ways: Ukraine defeating Russia (impossible and dangerous: Putin has plenty of nukes before surrendering); Russia taking all of Ukraine (unlikely: Moscow doesn’t want to and lacks the means); a halfway compromise (the only reasonable outcome, but at what further cost in lives). Of course, Orbán won’t start the negotiations: as soon as the meeting with Putin was announced, the EU fool of the day, Michel, excommunicated him: “Not on behalf of Europe.” Talks are held with Hamas, Iran, al-Sisi, MbS, the Taliban, and the worst scoundrels on the planet, but not with Putin. The Pope, Xi Jinping, Erdogan, Israel, the Global South, and even the US talk to Putin, but not the EU. Peace must not only be just but also fall from the sky. It’s tempting to remind the Eurofools that “peace isn’t achieved by sitting in armchairs in Brussels.” Unfortunately, Orbán already said that.

Il Fatto Quotidiano, July 6, 2024

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