Botond Feledy, a Hungarian foreign policy expert, said that ending military operation by the beginning of summer would serve the Russians’ interest too. However, atrocities against civilians do not seem to cease.
Mr Feledy talked about the Russia-Ukraine war on RTL Klub, the most-viewed commercial TV channel in Hungary. He said that until the negotiations between Ukraine and Russia do not end with success, no one should hope that atrocities against civilians in Ukraine will stop.
The Hungarian foreign policy expert added that he expects the war to end by the beginning of summer as it would serve Russia’s interest as well.
He highlighted that a Russian attack against Hungary or other NATO members was inconceivable. However, the negative, for instance, economic consequences of the war will take a serious toll on Hungary.
András Rácz, a senior associate fellow of the National University of Public Service, confirmed Mr Feledy’s claims in an interview he gave to portfolio.hu. He said that a non-nuclear war between Russia and NATO would have a catastrophic outcome for Moscow. The Ukrainian conflict shows
the Russian army is not as powerful as Putin made the world believe.
Regarding the end of the conflict, he said that Ukraine accepted to become a neutral power, meaning Kyiv does not consider joining NATO anymore. On the other hand, the war-stricken country would never give up parts of its territory. Ukraine will not accept the secession of Crimea, the Donbas region or Herson. The pressing question though is how the neutrality of Ukraine can be guaranteed. The 1994 Budapest Memorandum, an international security treaty warranting Ukraine’s territorial integrity, was breached by Russia which was one of the signatories.
Ukraine now needs safety guarantees meaning that in case of an attack, the signatories of the new treaty would defend the country –
Mr Rácz added.
Regarding the possibility of a ceasefire, Rácz said that Russians first needed a victory, like the occupation of Kharkiv. He highlighted that battlefield reality will determine when a ceasefire will take place as happened in 2014 and 2015 when ceasefires were signed by Kyiv after multiple defeats on the front.
He said that in a war against NATO, Russia would perish, while NATO would have a chance to survive. Therefore, Russia will cease its military operations at the NATO borders. Of course, unexpected scenarios can always occur. A couple of days ago, a Russian military drone crashed in Romania. Rácz said that it happened due to human error. Russian forces might have lost control over it, and the drone kept operating until it ran out of fuel. Thankfully, there are emergency “de-escalation channels” to ensure that such errors will not cause a nuclear conflict.
He said that the Russian invasion was a wake-up call for many European countries to strengthen their militaries.
Germany, for instance, plans to spend 100 billion EUR on security developments while Poland raises military expenditures from 2 pc to 3 pc of its GDP. However, it is hard to tell whether this will be a trend in Europe or not – he added.
He cleared that NATO would not establish a no-fly zone over Ukraine because that would potentially mean the outbreak of WWIII.
However, they will send anti-aircraft and anti-missile weapons to Ukraine. Based on reports, the Ukrainian air defence proves to be rather successful. They shot 17 Russian warplanes, 18 drones and 35 choppers. Rácz said that while these figures look promising they are based on Russian data. In reality, losses are probably much higher.
Source: rtl.hu, portfolio.hu