Ukraine's EU and NATO Membership – the Best Response to Orban's "Buffer Zone" Pro-Russia Assertions
The contentious exchange between former Austrian Chancellor Wolfgang Schüssel and Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán has led to further pro-Russia assertions from the Hungarian premier, who stated that Ukraine should become a buffer zone between Russia and NATO; otherwise, it risks "losing its territory" as Russians would attack it "again and again". Orbán made these remarks in an interview with Die Presse's "European Voices".
The pro-Russia head of the Hungarian government suggested that Ukraine is placed on the map of the world "where it is." He argued that the best perspective for Ukraine would be to serve as a buffer zone between Russia and the West, while having security guarantees from Western countries.
In response to Schüssel's statement, who believes that the only sensible solution now is an immediate start of negotiations regarding Ukraine's membership in the EU and NATO along with an immediate ceasefire, Orbán emphasized that one cannot just stand aside while Russia freely captures Ukraine. He also reminded of the Hungarian revolution in 1956, highlighting that both Hungarians then and Ukrainians now fight for their independence, freedom, and a free Europe.
However, according to the pro-Russia Orbán, Ukrainians are not defending Europe as Hungary did before. He argues that Ukraine does not bring additional security to European countries, as most of them are NATO members. In Orbán's view, NATO is much stronger than Russia, so the latter wouldn't dare to attack any NATO member.
Orbán also stressed that back in 2008, he talked about the only way to avoid war between Ukraine and Russia – an immediate start of negotiations about Ukraine's NATO membership. He believes that at that time, Russia was too weak to block NATO expansion, which would have included Ukraine.
Regarding the question of how to trust Russia, Orbán stated that the main problem of the EU is its lack of strength. He believes that Europeans must show strength and clearly convey their position to Russians: they have their interests, and we have ours - we can make deals on that basis.
When the former Austrian Chancellor mentioned that "agreeing to a ceasefire now would de facto mean Ukraine's defeat", Orbán responded that "it depends on how you see the future".
As previously reported by The Gaze, the European Commission has initiated legal proceedings against Hungary for violating EU law on "the protection of sovereignty". In Hungary, the so-called "Sovereignty Protection Agency" has started operating, implementing legislation initiated by Viktor Orbán's ruling party, giving the state the power to persecute anyone for dissent.