According to the Wall Street Journal, in a meeting with US Ambassador David B. Cornstein, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban told the American diplomats that he refuses to pressurise China and Russia, and would rather stay neutral like Austria.
„Washington pushes for a tougher line on Russia and China, deepening fears that a longtime American ally is drifting from its orbit,” WSJ writes. Orban told the diplomats, according to the article, that he wants to remain a troop-contributing member of the NATO and values the security Hungary gets from the alliance, but a senior Hungarian official told WSJ that the prime minister strongly objects to US pressure aimed at curbing the influence of Moscow and Beijing in Europe.
The article reminds that in the recent weeks, the US has sought to rally fellow NATO members to take firmer steps to counter potential Chinese cyber-espionage and for months has been pushing the alliance to step up its backing for Ukraine in the country’s running confrontation with Russia. „Orban has resisted both moves. Like some other European leaders, he has invited Chinese investment in his country’s internet infrastructure. And he is blocking NATO from holding minister-level talks with Ukraine because, his government says, he wants Ukrainian schools to offer more classes in Hungarian for the country’s Hungarian-speaking minority,” the article writes. “The point for Orban is, yes, we want to do business with Russia,” the senior Hungarian official said. The prime minister also made it clear that he does not want to be lectured about how to deal with China.
US government sources told WSJ that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo plans to visit Orban in February. The sources also noted that Orban has got closer to Russia recently, and in Washington, some are already considering him untrustable.
Source: Hungary Journal/The Wall Street Journal