Hungary's stance on Russia could expel it from EU: Czech FM
Budapest, by having an independent stance on Russia which is oriented more towards European interests, could risk its expulsion.
Hungary's stance on Russia and the conflict in Ukraine could potentially see it exiting the European Union, according to the Czech European affairs minister, Mikulas Bek, who was speaking to Cesky Rozhlas Plus radio on Thursday. Bek currently leads the EU council.
The EU is "a unity of many voices" that always finds common ground despite any disputes, said Bek.
“Negotiations are often tough in the EU, and many countries could engage in them. But Hungary, in my opinion, has come a long way, reaching the edge an abyss, and now it has to decide whether to go back from that edge or risk a jump, the consequences of which I don’t even want to speculate on,” the minister said.
Regarding whether Hungary could leave the EU altogether, Bek said it's theoretically possible.
Hungary chose to remain somewhat neutral regarding the war in Ukraine and it has refused to send weapons to Ukraine, contrary to the EU's behavior.
Budapest has criticized the Union's sanctions waged against Russia. In late July, Viktor Orban, Hungary's prime minister, said that sanctions have not shaken Moscow's resolve, despite the fact that Europe has already lost four governments due to economic and political crises. He implied that the sanctions are self-defeating and will only hurt Europe.
Who's truly benefitting?
Last month, Orban noted that while the Ukraine crisis is likely to drive Europe weaker, it will be in the best interest of Russia and China, along with major US oil corporations.
The prime minister noted that the West cannot find a solution to the conflict by military means, while the sanctions were unsuccessful in destabilizing Russia and dealt a substantial blow to Europe itself. Orban also argued that there is no unanimous international support for the US and Ukraine.
"A large part of the world emphatically does not get behind [Washington and Kiev], including the Chinese, the Indians, the Brazilians, South Africa, the Arab world, Africa," Orban said.
However, other energy-independent nations, in particular, will gain from Europe’s weakened standing, he added.