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JULY 2022

Hungary Not Willing To Host NATO Troops Amid Ukrainian Crisis

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Hungary Not Willing To Host NATO Troops Amid Ukrainian Crisis

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Hungarian government is taking a sovereigntist stance amid US-led tensions in Eastern Europe.

Written by Lucas Leiroz, researcher in Social Sciences at the Rural Federal University of Rio de Janeiro; geopolitical consultant.

Another European country appears to be taking different paths from NATO’s central plans. In a recent official statement, the Hungarian foreign minister stated that his country will not allow the arrival of more NATO troops on its territory. The case demonstrates further evidence of the crisis in the legitimacy of the anti-Russian discourse of the Western alliance, which is increasingly convincing fewer people.

Peter Szijjarto, Hungarian foreign minister, during an interview to Euronews on February 9, stated that Hungary is unwilling to receive NATO troops on its territory in the midst of the current Ukrainian crisis. For him, the Hungarian armed forces are sufficiently well prepared and equipped to deal with any threat of war in the region, so there is no need to import more foreign troops.

These were some of his words: “No, we have not agreed to that and we will not agree because we have already NATO’s troops on the territory of the country, which is the Hungarian army and the Hungarian armed forces, [they] are in the proper shape to guarantee the security of the country. So we don’t need additional troops on the territory of Hungary”. Szijjarto also commented that the current Ukrainian situation recalls the Cold War times, which were “many decades where we [the Hungarian people] suffered (…) That’s why we don’t want these times to come back. We ask, we urge the international community to do its best in order to avoid the Cold War to return, avoid even the psyche of the Cold War to return because we learned it from history, unfortunately have very clearly, that whenever there is an East-West conflict , the countries of Central Europe lose and we don’t want to be losers anymore”.

In addition to ruling out the possibility of receiving troops and taking a stance against a “new cold war”, the minister also expressed skepticism about the efficiency of the implementation of coercive measures against Moscow: “If you look at the sanctions themselves, it’s a failure. They don’t work out. They are unsuccessful. Trade between Germany and the Russian Federation has increased since the sanctions have been in place. (…) We have to invest in diplomacy, we have to invest in dialogue. That’s why we urge the Russian Federation and our Western allies, the big countries, the strong countries, not to give up hope of peaceful settlement, to the contrary, to talk to each other because once again, I want to underline that for us, rather small Central European countries, it can be extremely dangerous if violent action take place”.

Szijjarto’s speech comes as a Hungarian response to recent American pressure for all European countries to accept that new NATO troops are deployed on their territories. Earlier, US Defense Department spokesman John Kirby said Washington would send a new group of troops to Europe, including a squad of about 1,000 men to Romania, a country that borders Hungary and already has more than 900 American soldiers installed. On February 8, the first soldiers of the new American squadron for Romania arrived in Bucharest, which increased pressure during this week for Budapest to give a definitive answer on the reception of the troops, but the Hungarian government seems really willing not to follow the trends in neighboring nations.

In fact, this kind of attitude is being taken simply because Budapest no longer believes in the existence of a Russian invasion plan. And it is very likely that other European governments will soon abandon this narrative as well. This is a natural consequence of the recent events. NATO has been talking about such an invasion for a long time, but it never happened and is unlikely to happen, so there is no reason to accept that European countries are passively filled with thousands of American soldiers. There is no threat to justify this.

Furthermore, regarding the opinion against sanctions and in favor of bilateral dialogue, we can see that the Hungarian government is forming a solid pro-diplomacy stance. This position is a consequence of the friendly ties that Viktor Orban has been trying to develop in recent times – which is why he suffers so much criticism within the European Union. In early February, the prime minister visited Moscow and spoke with Putin on various strategic topics in bilateral relations, including security issues in Europe, gas trade, among others. In the West, Orban’s attitude has been seen with criticism due to the moment of tensions, but it was an opportunity to make it clear that the Hungarian position is anti-war, anti-sanctions and pro-diplomacy one. Now, Szijjarto’s words corroborate this thesis.

It is possible that it will take time, but at some point other European countries will start to take the same attitude as Hungary. There is no possibility that the narrative about “Russian invasion” will endure, considering that it is unsubstantiated and fallacious. If there is no threat of war, there will be no reason for these governments to want their territories occupied by foreign troops and this will inevitably generate a NATO retreat in Europe.

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Chris Gr

Hungary wants Zakarpattia Oblast.

Xsayarsa

Hajrá Magyarok. Keep the “labancok” out of town. Tenkes kapitány csapata.

Mohd Noor Ismail

the AMericans is using the Russian as a bogeyman , in order for them to put more preassure ad presence in Europe. Pathetically, the EC is helpless over all this.

Lance Ripplinger

Given how Prime Minister Orban just met with President Putin recently, I am not all that surprised by this news. Hungary relies on Russian gas, and Orban isn’t stupid. Hungarians don’t want to antagonize the Russians. NATO is taking a backseat to diplomacy.

Romo

Germany also buys gas from Russia as so many other countrys, why does Germany didn´t aproved Nord Stream 2 but is unwilling to bord in the russian vilification? Hungary have been independent from the master´s policys of the E.U and U.S contrary to other vassals and you are trying to full us about it.

Ma Laoshi

>>And it is very likely that other European governments will soon abandon this narrative as well. If the EUnuchs had a say in the matter, they’d never have started parroting this narrative du jour, which is causing them endless headaches. They have seen how Zelensky was taken to the woodshed for being off-message, and they have painful memories of their last visit there. So the show will go on for as long as His Master’s Voice deems useful.

In fact, Team Biden needs to do very little. The poodles will be kept in line by the very same domestic media that brought them to power. That’s what it means to be a superpower, folks.

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