Hungary’s attitude is incompatible with its NATO membership, claims Zelensky

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy attends a joint news conference with Estonia's Prime Minister Kaja Kallas after their meeting in Zhytomyr, Ukraine, Monday, April 24, 2023. (AP Photo/Andrew Kravchenko)
By Dénes Albert
3 Min Read

Hungary’s behavior and its relations with Russia are not in line with its status as a NATO ally, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky told Finnish, Swedish, Danish and Norwegian journalists in an interview over the weekend.

“It is a very strange situation: Can a NATO country be on the side of Russia and against NATO?” Ukrainian news portal Yevropeyskaya Pravda quoted Zelensky as saying.

According to the Ukrainian president, a NATO ally cannot be on the side of Russia, which sees NATO as an enemy.

“I think that this is inappropriate behavior,” he said, stressing that he was merely expressing “his own subjective opinion. Ally is not just a word, it is content. It is an alliance of states that share the same vision of security and values. They differ on certain points, but there is an agreement between allies, they defend each other and their own values.”

“And if all the allies say that Russia is calling us an enemy, that we have to put Russia in its place, then one state cannot say no and say that Russia is its ally. That is impossible, it means that that country is not an ally of NATO. And if it is a de jure ally but de facto works against the alliance, then it should not advise Ukraine whether to join NATO or not,” Zelensky said, stressing that an ally should not put obstacles in the way of Ukraine’s NATO membership.

As Remix News reported, Hungarian Justice Minister Judit Varga dismissed as a “false narrative” the accusations of the mainstream global media that Hungary was pro-Russian.

“The Hungarian government has made it clear that as part of the NATO and EU alliance, it condemns Russian aggression against Ukraine, while at the same time we are providing Ukraine with more than the necessary assistance,” Varga said. “Not one of our actions is pro-Russian; this is just another false narrative to serve international interests that seek to overthrow the Hungarian government. I find it surreal to link a pro-peace stance with Putin-friendliness.”

Hungary has long provided non-lethal aid to Ukraine and hosted over 1 million Ukrainian refugees, many of who moved on to Western European countries. However, the government has rejected sending weapons to Ukraine, which has resulted in Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán being placed on a Ukrainian kill list.

Hungary is calling for a ceasefire and immediate peace negotiations to end the war, a stance rejected by Ukraine and most Western European countries.

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