Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán said Ukraine will not be able to defeat Russia and that the West is pursuing the wrong strategy regarding the conflict.
Orbán was talking to popular American conservative journalist and commentator Tucker Carlson, who since his ousting at Fox News, has gone solo and now broadcasts via X, formerly Twitter.
Regarding the war in Ukraine Orbán claimed that, in contrast to most of the reporting in the West, the country does not stand any chance of victory. He even called the view that Ukraine is winning “a lie” and “impossible”.
Orbán said the current situation was “dangerous” and if Western countries send soldiers, a Third World War would ensue.
The Hungarian leader said he believes the level of Russian manpower is insurmountable, adding: “What finally will count is boots on the ground.”
The idea of striving for a regime change is a misunderstanding of Russia, according to Orbán.
He said that Americans especially don’t understand Russia, given the vast ocean between the US and the country, while Hungary is practically a next-door neighbour.
Orbán said the pursuit of freedom on all levels was a driving force in Western countries but in Russia just keeping the country together is the main issue.
He said the West’s standpoint has created “a kind of military approach, always worried about security and safety, buffer zones, a geopolitical approach”. He warned: “Don’t misunderstand the Russians.”
A possible toppling of Russian President Vladimir Putin he deemed “a joke”. Orbán referred to what happened when former Russian president Yeltsin left office: “People feared anarchy in Russia” and that the country could fall apart, meaning its nuclear arsenal was cause for concern. “Everyone was happy when Putin came in,” he insisted.
He said America is not listening to his warnings in NATO meetings, as the US assumes, according to him, “that they are more clever as they are bigger [than us]”.
Regarding the destruction of the Nord Stream gas pipelines, an act Carlson ascribes to the US, Orbán pondered the relative silence over the issue despite the attack hammering the German economy.
He also pointed out there is another pipeline from Russia that provides his own country with gas and insisted he has already warned countries that might attack it that they will face dire consequences if they do so.
Orbán said what was needed was a peace deal and joked former US President Donald Trump should come back to facilitate such. “Call back Trump. That’s the only way out. Call back Trump.
“Because, you know, you can criticise him for many reasons. I understand all the discussion. But the best foreign policy of the recent several decades belonged to him. He did not initiate any new war. He treated nicely the North Koreans and Russia, even the Chinese.
“You know, he delivered a policy that was the best one for the Middle East, the Abraham Accords. So he had a very good foreign policy,” Orbán claimed.
He went so far as to suggest that had Trump remained as US president, it would have been not possible for the Russians to start the war.
Orbán also said that NATO membership for Ukraine was out of the question, claiming such as move would provoke nuclear war with Russia. Instead, he said the West should “negotiate a deal with Russia” about a new security architecture and a solution for Ukraine, but not NATO membership.
“If Washington wants peace, the next morning, there will be peace,” because it’s obvious, according to Orbán, that Ukraine cannot fight the war alone.
Ep. 20 Hungary shares a border with Ukraine. We traveled to Budapest to speak with the country’s prime minister, Viktor Orbán. pic.twitter.com/LOzpMrQNIz
— Tucker Carlson (@TuckerCarlson) August 29, 2023
The second half of the interview with Carlson focused more on the internal agenda of the Hungarian Government.
Orbán explained how he saw his nation and its identity, saying Hungary is very “patriotic, Christian, and committed to our values – not on an ideological level, but on the streets, every day”.
According to the prime minister, there is a division in Western nations between people “who think the most important thing in the world, is their ego” and others who believe “family, nation and God” are more important. The latter group has a clear majority in Hungary, Orbán insisted, and the former was more dominant in other Western countries, or at least within their governments.
He further noted what he said was a particular intolerance in the West coming from intellectuals who tend to express exclusive “hegemonistic” ideologies, citing liberal idealism in particular. “It used to mean freedom, but now, in Europe, it means you are an enemy of freedom,” he said.
Carlson and Orbán also discussed the perceived hostility between the progressive US Government and Hungary, which the Hungarian leader said sometimes hit absurd levels.
The last subject they tackled was the way the government of current US President Joe Biden is apparently seeking to throw Trump, the leading candidate of the opposition, in jail. “To use the justice system against a political opponent, in Hungary, it is impossible to imagine,” Orbán said.
“That was done by the Communists. It is a very Communist methodology to do that.”