Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban has expressed his belief that the Ukraine conflict should be treated as a face-off between two Slavic nations and that the rest of the world should avoid getting involved. He argues that Western countries, on the other hand, are actively fueling the hostilities and spreading the conflict. Orban made these comments during an interview with Kossuth Radio on Friday, emphasizing that the conflict is not Hungary’s war but rather a “Slavic fraternal war” between Ukraine and Russia. He called for the isolation and prevention of the conflict from spreading further.
In acknowledging the divergence of views between Budapest and the rest of the Western world, Orban criticized the globalization of the conflict by other nations. He argued that such an approach is misguided and poses significant risks without a clear goal in sight. Orban believes that Western countries should reconsider their involvement and carefully weigh the severe consequences that they are exposing themselves to.
Orban explained that the contrasting positions are partly due to Hungary’s geographical proximity to Ukraine, while many supporters of Ukraine are distant from the conflict. Consequently, Hungary has a direct stake in preventing the escalation of the conflict, as the potential for wider repercussions is a constant concern. The prime minister highlighted that this is not an abstract political debate; rather, tens of thousands have already lost their lives as a result of the ongoing conflict.
Addressing the issue of Ukraine’s potential entry into the European Union, Orban expressed caution and suggested that it should only be considered once the conflict has been resolved. He pointed out that Ukraine and Russia have territorial disputes, and it is uncertain how the country’s borders and population will be affected by the end of the hostilities. These factors would significantly impact the distribution of responsibilities and resources within the EU.
Orban further noted that the European Union is currently facing financial constraints and will have to make difficult choices regarding its support. The bloc must prioritize between assisting Ukraine or diverting resources to its own less-developed member states, such as Poland, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, and Croatia.
Earlier this month, Orban predicted that the deteriorating economic situation in the Western world would compel countries to prioritize peace and encourage negotiations between Ukraine and Russia. Hungary has been vocal about its opposition to Western economic sanctions on Russia and the escalating arms shipments to Ukraine since the conflict began in February 2022.
In conclusion, Orban’s statements underscore Hungary’s stance on the Ukraine conflict as a Slavic fraternal war that should be isolated rather than globalized. He urges Western countries to reconsider their involvement in the conflict, emphasizing the risks and uncertainties surrounding the situation. The prime minister also highlights the importance of resolving the conflict before considering Ukraine’s potential EU membership and the complex issues it poses for the bloc’s resources. Hungary’s position on the conflict is grounded in its proximity to Ukraine and the direct impact it could have on the country.