John Mearsheimer, world-renowned US political scientist and scholar of international relations, in a talk on Tuesday said in Budapest that the war in Ukraine had been provoked by the United States and the West by mooting Ukraine’s prospective NATO membership.
In his lecture at the National University of Public Service, Mearsheimer said that Russian President Vladimir Putin’s response had been to launch a war to prevent Ukraine’s NATO membership and thwart the West’s plan to use Ukraine as a base against his country.
He said Hungary was manoeuvring “wisely” between those two sides, motivated by its interest in maintaining its military and economic ties within NATO as a member of the western alliance while having no interest at all in provoking a country close to its borders. Neither is it in Hungary’s interest that economic ties between Russia and the EU be cut, the professor said.
Mearsheimer said the US had an interest in weakening China, its main rival, and will exert pressure on Europe, and Hungary, in an effort to prevent the strengthening of their economic ties with that country.
In his talk, Balázs Orbán, the political director of the Prime Minister’s Office, said Brussels had an official pro-war stance despite the fact that continuing the war in Ukraine was not in its interest. “In this situation, Hungary, similarly to Pope Francis, Elon Musk and Henry Kissinger, is calling for peace,” he said.