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Hungary calls for calm over Ukraine

January 27th, 2022

As Foreign Minister Szíjjártó calls on his European counterparts to refrain from anything that might intensify East-West confrontation over Ukraine, a left-wing columnist thinks the danger of a war has become more real than at any moment since the Cuban missile crisis in 1962. His pro-government colleague accuses Ukraine of fomenting hysteria.

In Népszava, Róbert Friss warns that European geopolitics have reached a point where the tension may easily explode. Russia, he writes, has confronted the West with a mixture of blackmail, military build-ups and bluff, in order to broaden its sphere of influence. Friss reads the statement of the Hungarian foreign minister as a threat addressed to the European Union and urges him to take sides, arguing that Hungary’s fate might depend on that choice.

Magyar Hírlap’s Mariann Őry, on the other hand,  believes that the Ukrainian government is fomenting hysteria over the threat of a Russian invasion in order to strengthen its own position. She doesn’t completely exclude a Russian military intrusion, but only deems it possible if the Ukrainian side attacks the east Ukrainian ‘republics’ – the cities of Lugansk and Donetsk which are governed by the local Russian-speaking majority. She doesn’t believe that America would in such a scenario defend Ukraine. As for Hungary, Őry concludes that Hungary can only be on the losing side in the event of an East-West military confrontation.

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