Victor Orban: Hungary will not be part of NATO operations in Ukraine

For the US and EU members who are advocating for greater support for Ukraine, Orbán told Hungarian Radio Kossuth that they are "for war" and that they are working to prepare for a global conflict and a war with Russia

by Sededin Dedovic
Victor Orban: Hungary will not be part of NATO operations in Ukraine
© Sean Gallup / Getty Images

Hungary will strive not to participate in NATO operations aimed at supporting Ukraine, Prime Minister Viktor Orban said today, suggesting that the alliance and the European Union are moving towards a more direct conflict with Russia.

Orban told Hungarian state radio that Budapest opposes NATO's plan to provide more predictable military support to Ukraine in the coming years to counter the Russian invasion, while better-armed Russian troops are gaining control on the battlefield.

"We do not approve of this, nor do we want to participate in financial or armed support (for Ukraine), even within NATO. We need to redefine our position within that military alliance. Our lawyers and officers are working on how Hungary can be a member of NATO without participating in alliance actions outside its territory," Orban said.

Orban, known as the closest partner of Russian President Vladimir Putin in the EU and a close friend of Chinese President Xi Jinping, emphasized NATO's role as a defensive alliance, stating that he does not share the concern of some other Central and Eastern European countries that the Russian military will not stop its aggression if it wins the war against Ukraine.

"The strength of NATO cannot be compared to the strength of Ukraine. I do not consider it logical to claim that Russia, which cannot cope with Ukraine, will suddenly come and swallow the entire Western world," Orban said. Hungary refuses to provide military assistance to neighboring Ukraine, unlike most EU members, and Orban has strongly opposed the sanctions imposed on Russia by the Union, although he has ultimately always voted for them.

Viktor Orbán, Prime Minister of Hungary, arrives on Day 2 of The National Conservatism Conference at the Claridge on April 17, © Omar Havana / Getty Images

### US and EU Countries "Preparing for Global Conflict"

For the US and EU members advocating greater support for Ukraine, Orban said they are "for war" and working on preparations for a global conflict.

Orban, the nationalist prime minister who has been in power since 2010, has branded his Fidesz party as the guarantor of peace in the region, a key message in the campaign for the European Parliament elections, which will be held from June 6 to 9.

### Historical Parallels and Current Concerns

Orban directly stated that workgroups are preparing in Brussels on how NATO might get involved in the Russian-Ukrainian war, highlighting alarming similarities between the current period and the preparations for the First and Second World Wars.

"What is happening today in Brussels and Washington, or currently more in Brussels than in Washington, creates a mood for a potential military conflict, which we could describe as preparing Europe to enter a war," Orban noted.

Regarding Hungary's situation in this context, Orban stated that Hungary, as a NATO member, has representatives in these groups but does not want to participate in the conflict, "neither through financial contributions nor by sending weapons, not even within NATO." He emphasized that Hungary needs to "redefine its position within the military alliance." Orban pointed out that fears of Russia attacking a NATO member are unfounded, adding that the ongoing war in Ukraine, now in its third year, has shown the limits of Russian capabilities.

"The Russian army is engaged in a serious and difficult war with the Ukrainians, and if the Russians were strong enough to defeat the Ukrainians in one move, they would have already done so," Orban assessed, adding that mentioning the Russian threat is a prelude to deeper Western involvement in the war in Ukraine.

### Strong Influence of Putin and Xi in Hungary

Despite leading a country that has been an EU member for 20 years, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban identifies more closely with Xi than with his counterparts in the bloc, often clashing with European bureaucracy, rejecting its immigration and social policies, and condemning frequent Brussels criticisms of his government's backsliding on the rule of law.

Chinese companies have invested 16 billion euros in Hungary, making China the number one investor, said Peter Szijjarto, Hungary's foreign minister. "We see our cooperation with China as a huge opportunity," he said. It is expected that China and Hungary will sign more than 16 new cooperation agreements covering everything from automobiles to nuclear energy, Szijjarto said.

Orbán's close ties to Putin and Xi, along with his strong stance against Russia sanctions, point clearly to the direction he wants to take Hungary — toward greater independence from Western influence and stronger ties with Eastern powers.

This policy can bring challenges, but also opportunities because Hungary balances its membership in the EU and NATO with its independent international relations, but due to the current geopolitical situation, the EU should definitely increase the pressure on Orban, because in times like these you don't want such an ally. "My enemy's friend is my enemy."

Nato Ukraine Russia