| 18 June 2024, Tuesday |

Hungary’s Orban urges ‘deal’ with Putin, rejects NATO membership for Ukraine

According to Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban, the West should strike a “deal with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Ukraine’s new security architecture, which should not include the return of Crimea or membership in the NATO military alliance.”

The Hungarian leader, who has received criticism for his efforts to undercut Western sanctions placed on Russia following its invasion of Ukraine, told former Fox News personality Tucker Carlson that Ukraine was on course to lose the conflict because Russian forces outnumbered it.

“We should make a deal with the Russians on the new security architecture to provide security and sovereignty for Ukraine but not membership in NATO,” Orban said an interview with Carlson, which was published Wednesday on X, formerly known as Twitter.

Orban said the return of the strategic Black Sea peninsula of Crimea, which Russia annexed in 2014, before its full-scale invasion of Ukraine last year, was “totally unrealistic.” He also said the best chance for peace was for former US President Donald Trump to return to power and for him to end military support to Ukraine.

Orban has tried to block EU aid, refused to supply arms to Kyiv and has repeatedly said that Ukraine’s counter-offensive was doomed to fail.

Orban’s government has also cut deals with Russia on energy, securing gas supplies and pressing ahead with the Russia-led construction of its nuclear power plant over the reservations of some EU and NATO allies. The Hungarian leader has referenced Putin as a model on which he has built what he calls an “illiberal democracy” that opposes the EU’s multicultural values.

  • alarabiya