Defence Minister Kristof Szalay-Bobrovniczky - Photo: Facebook

Defence Minister: Russia-Ukraine war has reached its most dangerous phase

The war between Russia and Ukraine has reached its most dangerous phase, Defence Minister Kristof Szalay-Bobrovniczky has said, calling for "calm and sobriety".
17. March 2024 5:07

Speaking on news portal Mandiner’s Reakcio podcast, Szalay-Bobrovniczky said the counter-offensive Ukraine launched last summer had stalled and Russia had regained the initiative on the battlefield.

“The dynamics of the fighting have changed,” the minister said, adding that those who had predicted a Ukrainian victory over the past six months were now having to rethink their position.

He said the model that had Ukrainian troops fighting with Western weapons and from Western money had been unsuccessful. In a situation like this, he added, floating the idea that the West could send troops to Ukraine posed a risk of escalation that was “unacceptable”

The minister noted that the Hungarian government had been the only one calling for a ceasefire and peace talks from the beginning of the conflict. He said “no one is disputing” that Ukraine is the one that was attacked and that the war was about the country’s territorial integrity, adding that the conflict was “indirectly also about developing Europe’s new defence and security guarantees”.

Szalay-Bobrovniczky said the current front lines were not identical to the borders that could be agreed on in peace negotiations. He added that though it was not Hungary’s job to say what the outcome of the peace talks should be, it had strong security interests given its geographical location.

On another subject, he said that despite the sanctions-fuelled inflation, Hungary was meeting its obligation to allocate 2 percent of its GDP to defence spending.

Meanwhile, Szalay-Bobrovniczky welcomed last week’s meeting between Prime Minister Viktor Orb├ín and former US President and Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, saying it showed that the meeting with the Hungarian prime minister had been an important stage of Trumps campaign.

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