Ambassador of Ukraine to Hungary Liuba Nepop

Putin would want Hungary too, Ukraine ambassador warns

The Ukrainian Ambassador to Hungary, Lyubov Nepop, has taken the Hungarian government to task for its attitude to the ongoing war in her country following the invasion by Russia. She said “You’ll only have strategic calm in the grave” in reference to Prime Minister Viktor Orbán’s arguing that “in a war situation we need strategic calm”.
10. March 2022 6:23

The ambassador, who was speaking at a conference of liberal-leaning think-tank Political Capital, also drew a parallel between the Hungarian Uprising in 1956 and the current events, and she doubts that Russian President Vladimir Putin will stop with occupation if Ukraine, if the Russians were to win.

“The West is doing a lot but not enough,” Ambassador Nepop said. “Russians could be stopped but now people are stopping tanks in Ukraine without weapons. In the occupied cities they are singing our anthem down in the squares. We need more help.”

She also argued that the West was very late with introducing its sanctions, despite the fact that the Ukrainian government had asked for Russia to be sanctioned before the outbreak of the war, in order to prevent this worst-case scenario.

“It took a lot of people to die to get them to act. But there is still more to do. How many more people have to die to make a move?” she asked.

The ambassador might have been referring to, among other things, the cancellation of energy deals, as she continued by asking: “Do you put cutting the utility bills before human lives?” She criticised the Hungarian government’s politicians for caring only about reducing utility bills when human lives are at stake in the neighbourhood.

“The anniversary of the 1848 revolution coming and they are talking about cutting utility bills? Aren’t you ashamed of yourselves? Isn’t human life important? Do those for whom cutting utility bills are more important than freedom have the right to celebrate March 15? Please, only those who have the courage to stand up for freedom take to the streets this year to celebrate.”

Ambassador Nepop argued that greater support from the West, and from the Hungarian government too, is also crucial, because if Putin defeats Ukraine he will go on because he wants to restore the Soviet sphere of influence.

Drawing a parallel between Hungary in 1956 and Ukraine today, she recalled that it is a major offence for Hungary not having received any Western help against the Soviets during the Uprising. Therefore, she called on Hungarians “not to side with the wrong side,” namely Russia, now that Ukrainians are in a similar situation.

The ambassador said Hungarians in Transcarpathia are also fighting the Russians, so “they should be part of the victories too, as this is also the war of the Hungarian nation against the aggressor”.

She thanked the Hungarian government and civil society for helping the refugees, and said she is grateful for the government’s support in the implementation of the EU sanctions and other decisions in international organisations, as well as the Hungarian state’s aid bound for Transcarpathia.

She urged Hungarians not to buy Russian products and to boycott Russian companies.

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