WSJ: Hungary bucks U.S. push to curb Russian and Chinese influence – UPDATE
The Hungarian leader made his remarks last month in a meeting with the U.S. ambassador in Budapest.
Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán has told U.S. diplomats that he wants his country to be “neutral, like Austria” as Washington pushes for a tougher line on Russia and China, deepening fears that a longtime American ally is drifting from its orbit, UNIAN report based on WSJ article.
Read also Hungary should realize scale of Russia’s hybrid methods – Klimkin Aides to Mr. Orbán said he wants to remain a troop-contributing member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization and values the security Hungary gets from the alliance. But a senior Hungarian official said Mr. Orbán strongly objects to U.S. pressure aimed at curbing the influence of Moscow and Beijing in Europe, according to The Wall Street Journal.
The Hungarian leader made his remarks last month in a meeting with the U.S. ambassador in Budapest, according to people familiar with the discussion. Mr. Orbán’s spokesman didn’t respond to requests for comment.
In recent weeks, the U.S. has sought to rally fellow NATO members to take firmer steps to counter potential Chinese cyber-espionage and for months has been pushing the alliance to step up its backing for Ukraine in the country’s running confrontation with Russia.
“Mr. Orbán has resisted both moves. Like some other European leaders, he has invited Chinese investment in his country’s internet infrastructure. And he is blocking NATO from holding minister-level talks with Ukraine because, his government says, he wants Ukrainian schools to offer more classes in Hungarian for the country’s Hungarian-speaking minority,” the publication wrote. (Read more here about UKRAINE EDUCATION LAW)
“The point for Orbán is, yes, we want to do business with Russia,” the senior Hungarian official said.
Hungary is an ally of the United States
On Tuesday Prime Minister Viktor Orbán told MTI that in Hungary there have been false international and Hungarian media reports regarding Hungary. The purpose of these, he said, has been to create confusion before the upcoming visit to Budapest by the US Secretary of State.
Mr. Orbán said that
“Hungary is a member of NATO and an ally of the United States of America. The Hungarian people decided this in a referendum.”
The Prime Minister went on to tell the press agency that “The goal of the Government of Hungary continues to be the strengthening of its existing alliance with the United States. It is in this spirit that we are preparing for the visit to Budapest by Secretary of State Michael Richard Pompeo.”