Orban: NATO’s Focus Has Shifted to War

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”

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban has asserted that NATO has effectively abandoned its original “peaceful” and “defensive” nature, essentially adopting warmongering as its primary objective.
Orban, a vocal critic of Western involvement in the Ukraine conflict, has repeatedly cautioned that escalating actions by the US-led military bloc could lead to a direct military confrontation with Russia, resulting in catastrophic consequences.

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

Earlier in the week, the Hungarian prime minister traveled to Kiev, where he met with Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky. During this visit, Orban advocated for an immediate ceasefire and negotiations.

On the same day as his trip to Moscow, an op-ed written by Orban was published in Newsweek, addressing recent trends within NATO, of which Hungary has been a member since 1999.

In his op-ed, he highlighted Budapest’s active participation in numerous NATO operations and initiatives over the years, along with its compliance with the bloc’s 2% defense spending target. Orban pointed out 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 premier 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 considered the possibility of launching a NATO operation in Ukraine.

In late February, French President Emmanuel Macron stated that he did not rule out the deployment of French troops to Ukraine. While his suggestion drew immediate criticism from Germany and other members, the French head of state has reiterated this controversial idea on multiple occasions since.

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

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