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Orbán Interview in Bild Offers Crucial Insights for Germany and Europe

The deputy editor-in-chief of Bild, Paul Ronzheimer, conducted a comprehensive TV interview with Hungary’s Prime Minister Viktor Orbán, which was published on July 8. It is an important intervention into the German political situation.

While the interviewer did ask the usual anti-Putin questions, the interview was conducted very respectfully towards Orbán, differing much from the current dominant hysteria. The interviewer is the main “public face” of the Springer publishing house, and is also a former war correspondent in Ukraine. Of some note, when President Zelenskyy wanted to give him a medal by decree, he did not accept it.

During the interview, Orbán warned urgently of a massive intensification of the fighting and a much more brutal warfare in the next 2-3 months than has already been the case. The bloodshed must be stopped now, he insisted. He also stressed that Russia has a clear vision that it will not lose this war, which goes beyond tactical matters.

His main point was that, if the United States, the EU, and China agree that there should be peace, then it will happen. So far, Orbán said, China had a peace plan, the United States had a war policy, and Europe was merely copying the U.S. concept, to the detriment of Europe itself. Further, since the U.S. was facing several months of turmoil over the election, it was more opportune than ever for Europe to take a lead in a peace plan.

The Hungarian Prime Minister insisted that peace would only be possible by exploring the different positions and talking to each other. Before traveling to Kyiv and Moscow, he had informed himself about the positions of the governments in Paris, Brussels, and Berlin. However, he made it clear that he did not tell anybody what he was going to do. If you are up to such a mission, you have to keep your full sovereignty, he stressed.

Orbán considers the claim that Putin is planning to attack NATO countries completely ridiculous and absurd. In Russia, people think completely differently, very rationally, and certainly not crazy. Hungary knows the Russian mentality better than others, due to its history.

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