Hungary's Orbán: Admit Ukraine to European Union

Viktor Orban Hungary Prime Minister Russia Vladimir Putin Source Reuters
Not so good friends after all: Viktor Orban, Hungary's prime minister, and Vladimir Putin, Russia's president.
  • Why it matters

    Why it matters

    Hungary is at the heart of Europe and a member of NATO but its prime minister is a man who thinks liberalism is overrated.

  • Facts


    • Hungary joined NATO in 1999 and the European Union in 2004.
    • More than 10,000 people gathered outside Hungary’s parliament buildings last week to protest against corruption and the erosion of democracy.
    • The United States has banned six Hungarian officials from entering the United States on allegations of corruption.
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Ukraine needs to join the European Union and become a buffer state between Hungary and Russia, the Hungarian prime minister, Viktor Orbán, said in an interview with Handelsblatt.

The comment came as Hungary is taking fire for building closer relations with Russia at a time when the European Union and United States are imposing sanctions over Russian prime minister Vladimir Putin’s military incursions into Ukraine.

Mr. Orbán said that while he has an “open minded” relationship with Mr. Putin, he wants Ukraine to remain independent and buffer Hungary and Russia.

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