War has become NATO’s agenda – Orban

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In an op-ed published on the same day as his visit to Moscow, the Hungarian PM warned that the military bloc risks committing “suicide”

NATO has effectively made warmongering its raison d’être by jettisoning its original “peaceful” and “defensive” nature, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban has claimed.
Hungary’s leader, a vocal critic of Western involvement in the Ukraine conflict, has repeatedly warned that ever more escalatory steps by the US-led military bloc could eventually lead to a direct military confrontation with Russia, yielding catastrophic consequences.

On Friday, Orban paid a surprise visit to Moscow, where he met with Russian President Vladimir Putin. The Hungarian prime minister’s office clarified that he was on a “peacekeeping mission.” The discussion between the two leaders centered on potential ways to peacefully resolve the Ukraine conflict. Wrapping up the talks, Orban acknowledged that Moscow’s and Kiev’s positions remain very “far apart.” He added, however, that “we’ve already taken the most important step – establishing contact,” vowing to continue the effort.

Earlier, on Tuesday, the Hungarian prime minister had arrived in Kiev, where he sat down with Vladimir Zelensky. Orban advocated for an immediate ceasefire and negotiations.

On the same day as his trip to Moscow, an op-ed penned by Orban was published in Newsweek which addressed the latest tendencies involving NATO, of which Hungary has been a member since 1999.

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In it, the Hungarian prime minister stressed Budapest’s active participation in multiple NATO operations and initiatives over the years, as well as its compliance with the bloc’s 2% defense spending target. Orban noted that the NATO his country joined 25 years ago was a “peace project” and a “military alliance for defense.”

However, “today, instead of peace, the agenda is the pursuit of war; instead of defense, it is offense,” Orban lamented.

The prime minister stated that “ever more voices within NATO are making the case for the necessity—or even inevitability—of military confrontation with the world’s other geopolitical power centers.” He warned that this attitude “functions like a self-fulfilling prophecy.”

He noted that several member states have recently entertained the possibility of launching a NATO operation in Ukraine.

In late February, French President Emmanuel Macron said he did not rule out the deployment of French troops to Ukraine. Even though his suggestion quickly drew criticism from Germany and other members, the French head of state has since doubled down on the controversial idea on multiple occasions.

In May, Estonia and neighboring Lithuania signaled their readiness to send troops to Ukraine for logistical and other non-combat missions.

According to Orban’s Friday op-ed, unless NATO changes tack now, “it will be committing suicide.”

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