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Despite the fact that the European Union is fundamentally a “peace project”, right now the “pro-war” side is the one with an overwhelming majority, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán told public radio on Friday, adding that a worsening economic situation would be the deciding factor that forces the governments of European Union member states into “joining the peace camp” and bringing a swift end to the war in Ukraine. “Ukraine wouldn’t be able to fight this war if we didn’t give it weapons and a lot of money,” he said. “We’ve given Ukraine some 180 billion forints’ worth of EU funds since the start of the war, and in exchange we haven’t got a single step closer to peace; in fact, it’s more like we’re farther away from it,” he said. “The decisive means are in the hands of the Americans,” Orbán added.
As regards rising fuel prices, the prime minister said the 3.5-fold increase in the fee Ukraine charges for piping crude from Russia was costing Hungary an extra 48 billion forints (EUR 125m). Ukraine raised the fee overnight, he noted, adding that private players in the petrol trade in Hungary incorporated the extra fee into prices, pushing up the price of petrol and increasing inflation by half a percent. Orbán said he was conflicted about the price hike: angry but also sorry for Ukrainians “fighting for their lives”. Even though Ukraine had “no money, no weapons, and face an overwhelming force”, they were not interested in peace but continuing the war, he said. To carry on, they were collecting money “from everywhere”, he added. “I’m going to do all I can to push the Ukrainians away from pursuing this policy,” he said.