NATO concerned about rapprochement between Hungary and Russia

October 20,2023 1770
NATO concerned about rapprochement between Hungary and Russia

NATO allies are concerned about Russia’s rapprochement with Hungary, US Ambassador to Budapest David Pressman said. The ambassadors of the countries of the Alliance, as well as Sweden, held a meeting after the meeting of Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán with Russian President Putin.

“We are all concerned that the Hungarian prime minister met with President Putin when Russia is at war with Ukraine… The fact that Hungary has decided to keep in touch with Putin in this way is worrying. As are the words the prime minister used to describe Putin’s war in Ukraine,” Pressman said.

Currently, it is unknown what consequences Orbán’s actions may cause for Hungary. In addition, the US ambassador in Budapest refused to comment on rumors about possible sanctions against Hungarian officials.

“We see Hungary as an ally, but we also see that Hungary is deepening relations with Russia despite the brutal war in Ukraine. We think it is important to maintain a dialogue with the Hungarian government and people regarding these decisions,” the ambassador added.

Viktor Orbán became the first leader of the European Union to meet with Putin after the start of the full-scale invasion of Ukraine. The negotiations took place in Beijing. Among other things, Orbán said that Hungary “never wanted to confront Russia” and sought to establish close relations.

Putin praised the relations between Russia and Hungary, the only EU member that since February 24 has opposed aid to Ukraine.

This is not the first time Hungary’s Prime Minister has been noted for anti-Ukrainian statements. Orbán said that the historic opportunity for Ukraine to join NATO has been lost, and it is necessary to forget about Kyiv joining the Alliance.

Earlier, Orbán announced territorial claims to two EU countries. The politician called Slovakia a “separated” territory from Hungary. In addition, he questioned the sovereignty of Romania.

In November last year, Orbán attended a football match wearing a scarf depicting a map of the so-called “Greater Hungary,” which includes territories that today belong to Austria, Slovakia, Romania, Croatia, Serbia, and Ukraine.  

Cover: Grigory Sysoyev, Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP


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