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Orbán: Western War Hawks Only Want to Exploit Ukraine’s Natural Resources

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban attends the EU special summit in Brussels, Belgium,
Meng Dingbo/Xinhua via Getty Images

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán has claimed that Ukraine supporters in the West are merely seeking to exploit the country for its natural resources while saying that the war could be over in a day if Europe coalesces around the position of peace.

In an interview with HírTV, Prime Minister Orbán said that the main aim of Western backers of the proxy war with Russia in Ukraine is to expand “wealth and influence” rather than the vague notion of protecting democracy or stemming Moscow’s supposed imperialistic ambitions.

“Ukraine is a rich country in its resources, and that is what they want to acquire. At the end of the matter, there is money, power, agricultural land, and economic opportunities,” the Hungarian leader said.

Orbán also asserted his belief that the West is playing a dangerous game in escalating the conflict, noting that at the outset of the conflict, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz would only commit to “sending helmets” and now “we have German tanks running around Ukraine, German air defence systems being delivered and the entire European economy cut off from the Russian energy system, which otherwise provides a cheap and reasonable supply.”

“War is not a compulsion of fate or a plague of God or an inescapable curse, war is a consequence of human decisions,” he said.

The populist prime minister — who has been a leading advocate for peace talks between Kyiv and Moscow — argued that “war can be stopped and a cease-fire reached in twenty-four hours”.

The assertion from the Hungarian leader that the Ukraine war is merely a struggle for resources was seemingly confirmed by U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham, who said in an interview on Sunday with Face the Nation that Ukraine’s large stock of minerals must be kept out of the hands of the Russians and therefore the Communist Chinese government.

“They’re sitting on 10 to $12 trillion of critical minerals in Ukraine. They could be the richest country in all of Europe… If we help Ukraine now, they can become the best business partner we ever dreamed of, that $10 to $12 trillion of critical mineral assets could be used by Ukraine and the West, not given to Putin and China,” Graham said.

In addition to the natural resources of Ukraine, which also include large natural gas deposits, there will be considerable money to be made by outside investors on the eventual reconstruction of the war-torn country.

Speaking at the World Economic Forum’s annual meeting in Davos last year, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz predicted a “Ukrainian economic miracle” for German businesses in the aftermath of the war, saying that they hope to lead the charge for a “Marshall Plan for the long-term reconstruction of Ukraine”.

The potential boon of reconstruction has also caught the eye of ‘Master of the Universe’ firm BlackRock, which alongside JP Morgan, has reportedly been tapped to manage reconstruction of the country and attract outside investment into the “tremendous opportunity” that is the country’s post-war future.

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via June 10th 2024