RussiaDecember 31 2023, 4:52 am

Hungary’s Orban Parrots Putin’s Language on Ukraine

On 21 Decem­ber 2023, Bloomberg report­ed that Hun­gar­i­an Prime Min­is­ter Vik­tor Orban, in a news con­fer­ence in Budapest, raised doubts about label­ing Rus­si­a’s inva­sion of Ukraine as a “war”, instead refer­ring to it as a “mil­i­tary oper­a­tion” — a term also used by Russ­ian Pres­i­dent Vladimir Putin. This state­ment reflects Orban’s ongo­ing stance of main­tain­ing close ties with Rus­sia, often caus­ing rifts with Hun­gary’s Euro­pean Union and NATO allies. Orban’s diver­gent views have led to tan­gi­ble actions, notably block­ing the EU’s sig­nif­i­cant €50 bil­lion finan­cial aid pack­age for Ukraine, mak­ing him the sole EU leader to do so. Addi­tion­al­ly, his meet­ing with Putin in Octo­ber in Bei­jing, after an inter­na­tion­al arrest war­rant was issued against the Russ­ian pres­i­dent for alleged war crimes in Ukraine, under­scores his con­tentious diplo­mat­ic approach. Despite his align­ment with Russ­ian ter­mi­nol­o­gy, Orban did not com­plete­ly rule out using the term “war” in the future, even sug­gest­ing its poten­tial use in dis­cus­sions with Putin.

For our report on Hun­gary as a vehi­cle for Russ­ian influ­ence, go here.


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