Zelensky calls on world to show support for Ukraine
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Speaking to 27 EU leaders via a video call on Thursday night, Ukrainian President Zelensky thanked them for sanctions against Russia but said they came too late to prevent Putin from invading on February 24.
“Now we are discussing Ukraine’s membership in the European Union. At least here, I beg you, don’t be late,” Mr Zelenskiy said.
But he called out Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban for maintaining close ties with Putin as Russia shelled Ukrainian cities.
He said: “Listen, Viktor, do you know what’s going on in Mariupol? Please, if you can, go to your waterfront. Look at those shoes.
“And you will see how mass killings can happen again in today’s world. And that’s what Russia is doing today.
“And you hesitate whether to impose sanctions or not?
“And you hesitate whether to let weapons through or not?
“And you hesitate whether to trade with Russia or not? It’s time to decide already. We believe in you.”
Speaking on Hungarian national radio on Sunday, Mr Orban hit back at the Ukrainian leader claiming he was “acting” in front of the camera.
He said: “I’m a lawyer, I come from there, I live with the knowledge that I’ve gathered in the world of law.
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“And an actor lives and works with the knowledge he has acquired as an actor.”
The Hungarian Prime Minister claimed Mr Zelensky was asking for a “complete shutdown of the Hungarian economy”.
He added: “We will do all we can do, but they cannot ask us to destroy ourselves for them.”
Poland’s ruling party leader Jaroslaw Kaczynski is also not pleased with Mr Orban’s cautious stance on Russia, but he will wait to see what happens after Hungary’s April election, Mr Kaczynski said on Friday.
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“If you asked me if I’m happy, then no, but I will wait for the election, we will see after the election,” Mr Kaczynski told Polish public radio when asked about Mr Orban’s position on Russia.
Mr Orban has condemned Russia’s attack on Ukraine but has avoided personal criticism of President Vladimir Putin and is strongly opposed to sanctions on Russian energy.
Responding to Kaczynski’s proposals to send a peacekeeping mission to Ukraine, Mr Orban said “there is no peace”.
While Hungary voted for all four packages of EU sanctions imposed on Russia to date, it has opposed sanctions targeting energy imports and said it will not let weapons destined for bordering Ukraine through its territory.
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