Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán has accused the European Union of blackmail after a report was leaked which suggested the bloc was preparing to suspend all funding to Budapest if the Hungarian leader doesn’t budge on his opposition to using the EU budget to further fund Ukraine’s war effort.
In an interview with French weekly magazine, Le Point, the Hungarian leader doubled down on his government’s stance regarding the ongoing conflict and insisted he would not be coerced into departing from his principles.
“Nothing has changed. So the Hungarian position remains clear: As time goes on, we continue to believe that there is no military solution to the war in Ukraine,” Orbán told the publication.
Exposed: EU plot to destroy Hungary’s economy unless it toes the line on funding Ukraine
A leaked EU Council document revealed plans to suspend all funding to Hungary — a move that would cause a run on the Hungarian Forint and devastate foreign investment opportunities in the country
“Unfortunately, the 26 other parties still believe that there is a military solution. Their proposal points in the direction of a military solution, which I do not support. We believe that the only solution is a diplomatic solution,” he added.
“The Hungarian government is being asked to give Ukraine €50 billion over four years. Since we do not like the escalation of the war and we do not think that the solution will be found on the battlefield, we do not like this proposal.”
Orbán warned Brussels that pressuring a country to accept a majority point of view is an infringement on its sovereignty.
“The fundamental issue in this case is sovereignty. Hungary, as a sovereign state, opposes this amendment to the budget. Unfortunately, this right of an independent country is not accepted by the 26, so they are putting pressure on us and blackmailing us to join them,” the prime minister said.
While Hungary is opposed to using the EU budget to make payments to Ukraine — a move that would take the power away from Budapest — Orbán explained his counteroffer put to Brussels, which he said was a reasonable compromise.
“Hungary does not agree that we should give €50 billion, which is a huge amount. We do not agree that we should provide this for four years, and so on. But Hungary is ready to be part of the solution if you guarantee that every year we will decide whether we will continue to send this money or not.
“Our position is that this is not about blackmailing with a veto, but about restoring and maintaining the unity of the European Union,” he added.
Trump could end the war in Ukraine
During the wide-ranging interview, Orbán was asked about the potential return of former U.S. President Donald Trump to the White House later this year, and the potential implications such an electoral result would have on the conflict between Ukraine and Russia.
“I have made it clear that we need Donald Trump in Europe. Because when Trump says, ‘Make America great again,’ it legitimizes us to say, ‘Make Europe great again.'”
Orbán added that Trump was one of the most successful foreign policy presidents of the United States.
“He has not started a single war. The Abraham Accords were the only serious chance to bring peace, balance, and an acceptable way of life to a very difficult Middle East region. I remain personally convinced that if, in February 2022, the U.S. President had been Donald Trump, there would no longer be a war in Europe,” the Hungarian leader said.
“Today, I don’t see anyone else in Europe or America who is a strong enough leader to stop the war,” he added.