Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán on Monday threatened to withdraw support for Ukraine in its war against Russia over concerns about the treatment of ethnic Hungarians.
Orbán told lawmakers in Parliament that he was protesting a 2017 law in Ukraine that limits ethnic Hungarians from speaking their own language, particularly in schools and said Hungary would not support Ukraine on international issues “until the previous laws are restored.”
He also said “Hungary is doing everything for peace” in the war in Ukraine.
“But unfortunately the Russian-Ukrainian war continues, tens of thousands of people are victims,” he said, according to transcripts of the speech from Hungarian media outlets. “Diplomats must take control back from the hands of the soldiers, otherwise it will be in vain for women to wait for their sons and fathers and husbands to come home.”
Under Orbán’s conservative leadership, Hungary has maintained closer relations with Moscow than other European allies and has stayed out of the war in Ukraine.
Hungary has also repeatedly criticized aid packages from the European Union (EU) to Kyiv, though Budapest has also helped Ukrainian refugees fleeing the war.
Orban on Monday also said there was no rush to ratify Sweden into NATO after Turkey signaled it would approve the Nordic nation’s alliance bid.
For Sweden to be included in NATO, all members of the Western security alliance must ratify its accession. Only Hungary and Turkey have yet to approve the bid.
Hungary is one of three European countries ensnared in a feud with Ukraine over grain deals and imports.
Ukraine this month announced it would sue Poland, Hungary and Slovakia for imposing a ban on its grain imports after an EU blockade on the agricultural product was lifted.
Warsaw’s move was a stark reversal, as Poland is a major supplier of arms to Ukraine and has been one of its staunchest allies in the fight against Russia. It’s also led to increasing concerns about cracks in Western support for Ukraine, which has relied on European and NATO allies to carry out the war effort.
Orbán on Monday similarly complained about the grain feud, telling parliament that Budapest was cheated by “Ukrainian grain dumping” into his country.
Source : The Hill