Zelensky Tells Hungary to Pick a Side in Ukraine War as EU Leaders Watch

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky is urging Hungary to select a aspect between Ukraine and Russia because the battle between the 2 international locations escalates.

Zelensky’s message was directed at Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban, who he believes has been dishonest about his dedication to ending the Russian-Ukrainian battle. This perception is because of Orban beforehand being a detailed ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin.

“I want to stop here and be honest. Once and for all,” mentioned Zelensky Thursday throughout a speech to European Union leaders. “You have to decide for yourself who you are with.”

Zelensky additionally known as on Orban to be as proactive with sanctions as different NATO and EU nations. To additional his level, he referenced the footwear on show at Budapest’s Danube Bank memorial, which was created to memorialize these killed by the Third Reich throughout World War II.

“Look at those shoes, and you will see how mass killings can happen again in today’s world,” mentioned Zelensky, who’s Jewish and had family killed by Nazis through the Holocaust. “And that’s what Russia is doing today.”

NATO EU Summit
Above, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson (L), German Chancellor Olaf Scholz (C), U.S. President Joe Biden (C-R) and Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau (R) seems on throughout a video name with Volodymyr Zelensky, President of Ukraine, throughout a NATO summit on Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, on the alliance’s headquarters in Brussels, on March 24, 2022, in Brussels, Belgium. Zelensky took the time to particularly name out Hungary on its silence on the invasion.
Photo by Denzel Bundesregierung through Getty Images

However, in a video posted on his Facebook account, Hungarian international minister Péter Szijjártó mentioned that regardless of supporting Ukraine, they are going to proceed to remain as far-off from the conflict as potential.

“We understand that for the Ukrainian president, the Ukrainian people are what is most important,” Szijjártó defined. “But for us, the security of Hungary and the Hungarian people are what is most important. We are doing everything to ensure that Hungary stays out of the war.”

One of the the reason why Hungary might be so hesitant to make a concise stance relating to the conflict is the truth that Russia is the nation’s sole provider of oil and power. According to a 2020 power technique obtained by Politico, Hungary aimed to extend Russia’s low-cost oil and power provide to 60 p.c by 2030.

It is at present unclear whether or not Hungary is intending to keep up this purpose in gentle of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.Ukrainian officers have known as out Hungary and different European international locations reluctant to chop off their fuel imports from the nation.Oleg Ustenko, one in every of Zelensky’s financial advisors, not too long ago informed Newsweek that these international locations must make a dedicated effort to disrupt their Russian oil purchases.

“This is definitely not acceptable. We want it to be stopped immediately. We do not support the idea that we will continue discussions [with countries that refuse to stop the import of Russian oil],” mentioned Ustenko.

However, Ustenko has hope that Hungary and different comparable nations will ultimately do the proper factor.

“We do think they are going to agree on that, this is our expectation,” he defined. “We don’t have a plan B. This is our plan. And we hope we are going to be heard.”

Update 03/25/22, 1:01 p.m. ET: This article was up to date with extra info.

Update 03/25/22, 12:22 p.m. ET: This article was up to date with extra info.

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