In view of the war in Ukraine, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban has reiterated his call for an immediate end to the fighting and for peace negotiations. "Human lives can only be saved through a ceasefire," said the right-wing populist in his annual state of the nation address in Budapest.
The EU and NATO country Hungary supports the Union's sanctions against Russia rather reluctantly. The authoritarian Orban has maintained a friendly relationship with Russian ruler Vladimir Putin since taking office in 2010.
Even after the Russian war of aggression against Ukraine began almost exactly a year ago, relations between Budapest and Moscow did not really cool down. Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto also met his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov. "We will continue to maintain economic relations with Russia, and we recommend this to our alliance partners," Orban said on Saturday.
Orban: "War camps" are led by Germany
At the same time, he acknowledged that Hungary is isolated within Western alliances because of its Russia policy. In the "peace camp" there were only two left: "Hungary and the Vatican". Germany is responsible for that, he said. Under the impression of a change in Germany's attitude, other countries had also given in to external pressure and switched to the "war camp", which Berlin had placed itself at the head of.
"Initially, the Germans didn't deliver any weapons, only helmets," Orban continued. But soon German Leopard tanks would roll "through Ukrainian territory to the east, to the Russian border." "Perhaps the old maps are still there," he said, referring to Hitler's Germany's war of aggression against the former Soviet Union.