Russia Unlikely to ‘Swallow the West Whole,’ Hungary’s Orban Says

BUDAPEST – Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban stated on Friday that fears of Russia mounting an attack on any NATO member are unfounded, highlighting the ongoing conflict in Ukraine as evidence of Russia’s limited military capabilities.

In an interview with public radio, Orban, who has been in power since 2010, emphasized that the war in Ukraine, now in its third year, demonstrates the constraints of Russia’s military power. “The Russian military is fighting a serious and difficult war with the Ukrainians. If the Russians were strong enough to wrestle down the Ukrainians in one go, they would have done so already,” he said.

Orban’s comments come amidst Hungary’s refusal to provide military assistance to Ukraine and its opposition to NATO’s long-term plan to aid Ukraine. Hungary, a member of both the European Union and NATO, has taken a stance against deeper involvement in the conflict. Hungarian Foreign Minister has described NATO’s support mission for Ukraine as a “crazy mission.”

Orban is campaigning for the upcoming European Parliament elections with a platform centered on avoiding further involvement in the Ukraine war. He believes the election could significantly influence the future of war and peace in Europe.

“With NATO’s military capabilities far exceeding those of Ukraine, it is unlikely that Russia or any other country would mount an attack against NATO,” Orban stated. “I do not consider it logical that Russia, which cannot even defeat Ukraine, would all of a sudden come and swallow the Western world whole. The chances of this are extremely slim.”

Orban also suggested that references to the Russian threat serve as a prelude to increased Western involvement in the Ukraine conflict. Relations between Budapest and Washington have been strained due to Hungary’s delay in ratifying Sweden’s NATO accession and Orban’s continued warm ties with Moscow despite the war.

As the European Parliament elections approach, Orban’s stance on the Ukraine conflict and NATO’s involvement will be closely scrutinized, potentially shaping Hungary’s foreign policy and its role within the EU and NATO.