BERLIN — Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban on Tuesday accused the United States of perpetuating the war in Ukraine by providing Kyiv with weapons and said there should be U.S.-Russian negotiations to bring about a cease-fire.
President Biden, he said, had gone “too far” by saying that Russian President Vladimir Putin should not remain in power. “Hope for peace is named Donald Trump,” said the right-wing populist leader, a longtime ally of the former U.S. president.
Since the beginning of the war in Ukraine, Orban has been balancing his pro-Putin sympathies with being a member of the European Union. Hungary, also a member of NATO, has backed the bloc’s sanctions packages against Moscow and agreed on measures to reduce corruption as it risks losing billions of dollars in funding from Brussels over concerns about its slide toward autocracy.
Also on Tuesday, Hungarian President Katalin Novak, who is from the same party as Orban, joined her Eastern European counterparts in condemning Putin’s bombardment of Ukrainian cities the day before.
Orban has blamed the E.U. sanctions packages against Russia for surging energy prices and faltering economies. He repeated on Tuesday that European sanctions were a “catastrophe.”
A day earlier, as Orban met with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz in Berlin, the Hungarian government announced that it had agreed to build a pipeline to supply Serbia with Russian oil.
Unusually, there was no scheduled news conference for the two leaders after their meeting Monday. During his visit, Orban also met with former German chancellor Angela Merkel. If Merkel was in power in Germany, “we would not have a Ukraine war,” Orban said during the panel.
There should be U.S.-Russian cease-fire talks, he said, because “anyone who thinks that this war will be concluded through Russian-Ukrainian negotiations is not living in this world.”
Orban has won fans among U.S. Republicans for his positions against immigration, liberals and so-called fake news, and he spoke at CPAC in Dallas in August. He has attempted to present the two countries as a united front in a battle against progressives.
War in Ukraine: What you need to know
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Russia’s Gamble: The Post examined the road to war in Ukraine, and Western efforts to unite to thwart the Kremlin’s plans, through extensive interviews with more than three dozen senior U.S., Ukrainian, European and NATO officials.
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