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First comments on the Russian invasion of Ukraine

February 25th, 2022

A liberal correspondent believes that Russia intends to topple the Kiev government but will not attempt to keep Ukraine under military occupation. A business analyst weighs the risks for the Hungarian economy.

As Russia launched an offensive against Ukraine on multiple fronts, Foreign Minister Péter Szíjjártó declared that Hungary stands by Ukraine, along with her NATO allies. Minister of Defence Tibor Benkő said Hungary must be ready to host tens of thousands of Ukrainian refugees.

In a live report from Kiev on Klub Rádió, András Németh, Heti Világgazdaság’s foreign policy expert, believed Russia will not stop short of toppling the government of Ukraine. He didn’t think, however, that Russia will permanently occupy its western neighbour, as Russia, he suggested, is not strong enough to keep Ukraine under military occupation, given the constant losses it could expect to suffer in such a scenario.

On Kossuth national public radio, business analyst István Loránd Szakáli said Russia will suffer sensitive economic losses as a result of Western sanctions. Hungarian businesses with high exposure to Russian markets, including OTP, the largest Hungarian bank and Richter, an important pharmaceutical firm will incur significant losses, he added. As for Russian natural gas supplies, Hungary has a long-term contract with Gazprom and the gas now reaches Hungary by-passing Ukraine.


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