Ukraine’s plan to blow up the Druzhba pipeline carrying crude from Russia to Hungary could invoke Article 5 of the NATO treaty and would also constitute an act of terrorism, Hungarian security policy expert György Nógrádi told daily Magyar Nemzet in an interview.
“They figuratively wanted to attack a NATO country by blowing up the Friendship oil pipeline in order to put Hungarian industry in a difficult situation,” Nógrádi said in the interview.
As Remix News recently reported, according to leaked documents from the United States intelligence agencies, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky proposed at a February meeting with Deputy Prime Minister Yulia Svyrydenko that Ukraine should blow up the pipeline in order to incapacitate the part of the Hungarian energy infrastructure reliant on Russian oil. Up to 85 percent of Hungary’s oil comes from Russia, illustrating the devastating consequences such a strike would have on the Hungarian economy.
According to Nógrádi, the blowing up of the oil pipeline would have served the purpose of preventing Hungary from receiving more Russian oil, thereby “bringing down Hungarian industry and weakening Viktor Orbán.” He added: “This is an attack on Hungary and therefore NATO, according to NATO Article 5.”
Article 5 of the North Atlantic Treaty, signed in Washington on April 4, 1949, states that “The Parties agree that an armed attack against one or more of them in Europe or North America shall be considered an attack against them all and consequently they agree that, if such an armed attack occurs, each of them, in exercise of the right of individual or collective self-defense recognized by Article 51 of the Charter of the United Nations, will assist the Party or Parties so attacked by taking forthwith, individually and in concert with the other Parties, such action as it deems necessary, including the use of armed force, to restore and maintain the security of the North Atlantic area.”
Meanwhile, sources in Washington confirmed that there had indeed been a Ukrainian suggestion that the pipeline should be blown up, but the Americans “excused Zelensky by saying he was angry. A head of state cannot be angry,” said Nógrádi.
Asked about Ukraine’s ambitions to become a member of NATO, the security expert said that there is not the slightest chance of this.
“A country in armed conflict, which is at war with its neighbor, where even the minimum of democracy is not in place, cannot join NATO,” Nógrádi said.