Ukraine accuses Hungary of having designs on its land

By Akash Maurya

Deputy PM alleges that “cheap Russian gas” and a thirst for territory could be behind Budapest’s “pro-Russian” rhetoric

Ukraine’s Deputy Prime Minister Irina Vereshchuk has questioned, what she has described as, Hungary’s “pro-Russian” rhetoric, suggesting that the desire for “cheap Russian gas” or even a potential land grab could be behind Budapest’s policy over the conflict between Moscow and Kiev.

In a lengthy Facebook post, the official claimed that “not even all Russian satellites from the former Soviet Union behave the way Hungary’s authorities do.” She said that Hungary does not support sanctions against Russia, refuses to provide Ukraine with weapons, and even “does not allow weapons from other countries to pass via their territory.

In fact, they say ‘no’ to everything. A bit more – and Budapest’s official rhetoric will be totally pro-Russian. What is this? Want some cheap Russian gas? Or maybe want our Transcarpathia?” Vereshchuk wrote before calling on Budapest to “join the civilized world” and “not to repeat the mistakes of World War II when Hungary made a wrong choice.”

Earlier on Tuesday, Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto said that his country would not support anti-Russia sanctions which would cause harm to its own interests, including the penalties targeting Russian gas and oil. He also reiterated that Hungary was against any proposals involving sending NATO soldiers to Ukraine or creating a no-fly zone over the country, explaining that such actions would raise the risk of a larger-scale war.

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Though the Hungarian government has condemned Moscow’s attack on Ukraine and supported some sanctions, it has consistently defended its wish to “stay out” of the conflict and has refused to join other countries in sending weapons to Ukraine.

Moscow sent troops into Ukraine in late February, following a seven-year standoff over Kiev’s failure to implement the terms of the Minsk agreements and end the conflict with the breakaway regions of Donetsk and Lugansk. Russia ended up recognizing the two as independent states, at which point they asked for military aid.

Russia demands that Ukraine officially declare itself a neutral country that will never join the US-led NATO military bloc. Kiev insists the Russian offensive was completely unprovoked and has denied claims it was planning to retake the two Donbass republics by force.

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