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NATO ‘one step away’ from sending troops to Ukraine – Orban

The conflict could drag Europe “into its depths,” the Hungarian prime minister has warned

The leaders of the EU and NATO are potentially ready to deploy forces to Ukraine, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban claimed on Friday. Brussels sees the conflict between Moscow and Kiev as its “own” and is failing to consider the risks arising from its ever-deeper involvement, he warned.

The mood of EU leaders is “one of war,” Orban told a gathering of his Fidesz Party ahead of the EU Parliament elections. “There is a pro-war majority in Brussels today,” he said, adding that the bloc’s politics “are dominated by the logic of war.” EU politicians are already so invested in the conflict that they fail to see the flaws in their strategy, the prime minister argued.

Despite all the “money and weapons, the situation is not improving [for Kiev], in fact, it is getting worse… We are one step away from the West sending troops to Ukraine,” Orban warned. “This is a vortex of war that can drag Europe into its depths. Brussels is playing with fire.”

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Budapest will not let itself be dragged into the hostilities, and “will not enter… the war on either side,” the prime minister pledged, adding that his country “must stand for peace” everywhere, including in “Brussels, Washington, the UN and NATO.”

“We don’t want war, and we don’t want Hungary to become a toy of great powers again,” Orban stated.

The idea of sending NATO troops to Ukraine has been repeatedly floated by Western leaders. French President Emmanuel Macron first raised it in February, saying “all options are possible.”

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FILE PHOTO: US National Security Council Coordinator for Strategic Communications John Kirby.
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Macron has since doubled down, stating that there are “no limits” to support for Kiev. His words initially alarmed some NATO allies, who quickly denied having such plans. However, the French leader did receive backing from certain members of the US-led military bloc.

In March, Polish Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorski said Russia’s military operation in Ukraine requires an “asymmetric escalation” on the part of the West. Warsaw’s top diplomat also called the idea of a NATO presence in Ukraine “not unthinkable.”

Estonian Defense Minister Hanno Pevkur said earlier in April that every NATO member already has military personnel in Ukraine operating as advisers or instructors. Last week, former British minister of state for the armed forces James Heappey told Sky News that sending NATO forces to Ukraine did “deserve consideration.”

Moscow has repeatedly warned that deploying NATO troops in Ukraine would bring the US-led bloc to the brink of a full-blown conflict with Russia. President Vladimir Putin stated in March that it would be “one step shy of a full-scale World War III.”

April 19, 2024 at 10:50PM
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