Hungarian Prime Minister Victor Orbán said this week that his country would not be forced further into the current war between Russia and Ukraine following significant pressure from Washington.
Orbán said that his country was a target of an American effort “to squeeze everyone, including Hungary, into a war alliance.”
The Hungarian leader said that “the will of the Hungarian people is clear” and that the country “will not allow this.”
The prime minister added that Budapest would not send weapons to the conflict and that Hungary “will not be involved in a conflict that is not our war.”
Orbán’s most recent statements came after a significant disagreement with NATO, which Hungary is a member of.
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg traveled to Ukraine last week, stating that “Ukraine’s rightful place” is within the organization.
Stoltenberg said that the alliance’s priority was preventing Russia from winning the war with Ukraine.
He added that “all NATO allies have agreed that Ukraine will become a member.”
Orbán responded with a single-word tweet, “What?!”
— Orbán Viktor (@PM_ViktorOrban) April 21, 2023
Hungary was among the final nations to approve of Finland joining the military alliance.
Both Hungary and Turkey currently oppose Sweden joining NATO. Each of the remaining other 29 members of the alliance ratified Sweden’s potential membership.
Orbán condemned Russia’s military effort in Ukraine but has remained on good terms with Moscow since early 2022. Hungary, one of Ukraine’s neighbors, has not provided any military aid to either side of the conflict.
Last month, Hungary’s foreign minister said that Western pressure to aid Ukraine made diplomacy difficult.
The minister said that pressure to admit Sweden into the alliance led to no vote taking place in part due to the “very disrespectful behavior of the political elites” of Sweden and Finland toward Budapest.
The minister added that “under President Trump, the political relationship was as good as never before.”
Orbán was elected to a fifth term in office last year. During his victory speech, he said that opposition by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky was one of the obstacles his party had to overcome.