Hungary calls for 'European NATO'
Europe needs its own military bloc free of American influence, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban told Swiss magazine Weltwoche on Thursday. The politician accused the US of dragging Europe into a conflict that cannot be won and risking a global war.
“The solution would be a European NATO,” Orban said, arguing that America’s desire for further expansion of its influence is what led to the current tensions between the West and Russia.
Moscow is concerned about NATO expanding further east into Ukraine and Georgia, Orban stated, referring to his conversation with Russian President Vladimir Putin just weeks before the conflict between Moscow and Kiev erupted in late February 2022.
“Putin told me his problem was with the American missile bases in Poland and Romania and possible NATO expansion in Ukraine and Georgia,” Orban told the Swiss media, noting that the Russian leader was concerned about the US potentially deploying its weapons to these nations as well.
According to the Hungarian premier, that was one of the underlying reasons behind the conflict in Ukraine. “I understand what Putin said. I do not accept what he did,” Orban explained.
He insisted that Hungary should stay out of the conflict, but added that Budapest was subjected to “constant pressure” as other Western nations “want to drag us into the war through every possible means.”
Orban believes that this is because the EU is serving the interests of the US at the expense of its own. “Decisions made by Brussels reflect American interests more often than European ones,” he said.
Orban argued that Western nations need to demonstrate a true “desire” and “will” for peace in Ukraine, adding “that will is what is lacking today, at least in the West.”
Hungary has repeatedly called for peace amid the conflict between Moscow and Kiev, and has criticized the Western sanctions imposed against Russia and arms deliveries to Ukraine. Earlier this week, Orban said that the hostilities benefitted no one in the world. Hungary was also the only NATO nation to voice support for China’s peace plan for Ukraine.