Published On: Tue, Feb 13th, 2024
World | 4,302 views

Viktor Orban suggests bizarre plan for Ukraine to be ‘buffer zone’ between Russia and West | World | News

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban has said Ukraine should act as a “buffer zone” between the West and Russia and that the embattled nation should never join the EU or NATO.

Mr Orban has increasingly rebelled against the majority EU and NATO position of supporting Ukraine against Putin’s illegal invasion since February 2022.

The Hungarian populist leader has been in power for nearly 14 years and was recently accused by the US of running a “fantasy foreign policy” that serves the interests of Russia and the Kremlin.

Wading into the debate surrounding the war in Ukraine again, the 60-year-old leader made comments likely to upset his NATO allies by saying Ukraine should make “security assurances” to Russia to avoid losing more territory.

He said: “Ukraine‘s location between Russia and the West is a given, Ideally, it would act as a neutral buffer with security assurances to avoid losing more territory to Russia, which will never allow Ukraine‘s accession to the EU or NATO.”

Mr Orban continued: “We Europeans are not strong enough for the Russians to take our interests seriously. It’s a balance of power. It’s war. We must demonstrate strength and clearly communicate to the Russians: we have our interests, they have theirs, based on which we can negotiate something.”

Mr Orban also said he favoured the Balkans nation of Serbia joining the EU before Ukraine, because it would ‘save it from China’.

In January the United States’ ambassador to Hungary, David Pressman, took the unusual step of criticising the leader of the host country.

He told the Financial Times: “When you look at Hungary’s foreign policy, whether it be suggesting raising questions about Ukraine’s EU accession, stymying efforts to provide financial support to Ukraine, meeting with Vladimir Putin, resisting efforts to diversify off of Russian energy, resisting sustained efforts to close Kremlin platforms inside of Hungary, all of these have something in common.

“And it’s something that is leaving Hungary more isolated from its partners within Nato and its partners within the EU.”

Mr Orban has faced criticism over his apparent lack of condemnation of Russia aggression since the invasion of Ukraine began. At one stage he even parroted the Kremlin line that the attack by Russia was a “military operation” and not an invasion.

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