Tags: America's Forum | Andras Simonyi | Vladimir Putin | Russia | Ukraine

Ex-Hungarian Ambassador: Putin Had 'No Intention' of Sticking to Ceasefire

By    |   Wednesday, 25 February 2015 10:22 AM

The ceasefire between Russia and Ukraine is not holding and it was "pretty naïve" for anyone to think it would, according to András Simonyi, the former Hungarian ambassador to the U.S. who is now managing director of the Center for Transatlantic Relations at the school of Advanced International Studies at Johns Hopkins University.

"The person who can make it stick is Vladimir Putin and he at this moment has no intention to do so," Simonyi said Wednesday on Newsmax TV's "America's Forum."

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While it's NATO's responsibility to stop Russian aggression against a member of the military alliance, it is the world's responsibility to intervene, Simonyi added.

"I am very pleased to have the British Prime Minister David Cameron yesterday announce that Britain is sending 80 military experts to Ukraine," he said. "They're going to help train the Ukrainians. That's what they really need.

"It would have been important for the West to do that much earlier, but it's a good sign of understanding that we need to help the Ukrainians in a way that they want us to help them. It was a mistake by Mrs. Merkel and Francois Hollande, the French president, to go to Moscow. I don't think they should've done that before the Minsk agreement. It was a sign of weakness unfortunately."

Yes, the Americans should provide weapons to the Ukrainians, according to Simonyi, but partisan arguing about whether the U.S should have moved faster and President Barack Obama should have issued a clear statement in support of the Ukrainians is counter-productive.

"Wagging the finger is not a strategy," Simonyi said.

When it comes to the Islamic State, Simonyi cautioned against comparing the violent Islamic extremists to Nazi Germany. The rise of the radical jihadists is a threat to be taken very seriously but "it won't get close to the extermination of 6 million Jews, the conquering of the whole of Europe or all-out war."

Special: Find Out Everything You Need to Know About the Rise of ISIS — Click Here

"Neither Jews nor Christians in Europe are threatened the same way," Simonyi said.

"Maybe we're a little late in taking this very seriously. I don't think we have in Europe taken the threat as seriously as we should have and we have to make sure that we shore up our borders, we get tougher on our visa policies, we work closer with the United States on exchanging data so that we do everything we can before we move on and make sure we have Arab countries with us.

"Maybe we're a little late, but it's a wakeup call and Europeans should realize that there are two major strategic threats to its security one coming from the south in the face of ISIS and radical Islam and Russia."

All countries should take a hardline stance on people who travel to Iraq and Syria to join ISIS in its fight, Simonyi said.

"Refuse the re-entry," Simonyi said. "Tell them it's not a joke, tell the 15-year-old girls if you're going there, you will be raped, enslaved and you are not coming back. There is no return. In this respect, democracy has to show strength, power and convince these people that democracy is not weakness. Democracy can act strongly. They have to refuse re-entry to people who go and fight for ISIS."

Special: ISIS: Everything you need to know about the rise of the militant group — Click Here

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The ceasefire between Russia and Ukraine is not holding and it was "pretty naïve" for anyone to think it would, according to András Simonyi, the former Hungarian Ambassador to the U.S.
Andras Simonyi, Vladimir Putin, Russia, Ukraine
Wednesday, 25 February 2015 10:22 AM
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