Two distinct positions have evolved in the European Union regarding the war in Ukraine: “a pro-war position denying reality and a pro-peace camp using facts as a basis”, Tamás Deutsch, MEP of ruling Fidesz, told MTI in Strasbourg on Wednesday. Those striving for war expect the EU to make every effort to increase tension, while the other side considers it a strategic European interest to have “peace in the neighbourhood” because “the later it happens the higher its price will be”, Deutsch said. Those denying reality will say that sanctions are the best mechanism despite “their failure to contribute to ending the war and breaking the Russian economy”. Nor has the pledge that the sanctions would only cause a minimum of economic difficulties to member states come true, he said. Reality, however, is that the war in itself has seriously impacted Europe, while the sanctions, especially those on energy imports, have but aggravated that impact, he added.
Deutsch noted that the GDP of eight EU members had dropped for the third consecutive quarter, and 14 countries had seen a contraction in September. He added that the energy crisis was not over and noted that the price of gas in Europe was six time the long-term average. He also cited European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen as saying that Europe could have a shortage of 30 billion cubic metres of natural gas next year. On the subject of the recent deal between the Hungarian government and EU institutions on community funding, Deutsch said “a meaningful dialogue leads to a sensible solution”. He said Hungary had been granted actual guarantees in connection with the global minimum tax, and the country’s competitiveness is “no longer in jeopardy”. Referring to the Hungarian government’s support for the EU’s Ukraine aid scheme, he said “it is part of the EU’s decision-making mechanism that member states can rise above their national positions in the interest of supporting unity”.