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West’s sanctions on Russia backfire, hurting Europeans instead, says Hungary

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
Hungarian Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Peter Szijjarto

Hungarian foreign minister Peter Szijjarto says sanctions slapped by Western countries on Russia over the Ukraine war are not working and are instead hurting the European countries.

Speaking to Sweden's SVT TV on Sunday, Szijjarto said waves of sanctions imposed by the European Union on Moscow have failed to end the conflict in Ukraine and that a ceasefire is the only way to end the simmering crisis.

The top Hungarian diplomat further said that putting a stop to violence in Ukraine is a matter of the utmost importance, emphasizing that “the first goal is to stop killing people, which means a ceasefire agreement and nothing more.” 

He noted that a series of sanctions packages slapped on Russia, including the energy ban, had not brought the EU nations any closer to stopping the war between Ukraine and Russia, which completed a year recently. 

"We have introduced 10 sanctions packages already; did it bring us closer to a resolution [of the conflict]? No. Did it make the war less brutal? No. Did it put Russia on its knees? No. Did it hurt us? Yes," he asserted.

"I think that the 'solutions' that we have been trying to find in Europe simply didn't work out because we were too much into this war psyche."

Since Russia launched its military operation in Ukraine in February 2022, Western countries have imposed a slew of sanctions on Moscow while supplying heavy weaponry to Kiev, fanning the flames of war.

Szijjarto further noted that the continuation of the war, which continues to rage on, is due to the war-mongering psyche imposed on EU leaders.

He said the perpetuity of the conflict would only cause more fatalities, in addition to further losses, and the EU countries that are dependent on Russian energy will be the worst losers in this scenario.

“This whole situation is beyond rationality,” Szijjarto emphasized.

In response to a question about why Hungary does not supply weapons to Kiev, while many other EU countries have, Szijjarto said Hungary is a neighboring state and does not want more lives to be lost.

"We are a state that neighbors Ukraine, and we do not want more people to die. This is why we are working to stop it. We do not ship weapons, we continue to advocate peace," she stressed.

"The first goal is to stop killing people, which means a ceasefire agreement and nothing more."

Russia launched its military operation in Ukraine a year ago following Kiev’s failure to implement the terms of the Minsk agreements and Moscow’s recognition of the breakaway regions of Donetsk and Luhansk.

At the time, Russian President Vladimir Putin said one of the goals of what he called a “special military operation” was to “de-Nazify” Ukraine.

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