Russian President Vladimir Putin and Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán.
Alexei Nikolsky, Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP
- Hungary’s authoritarian prime minister listed Ukraine’s president as one of his “opponents.”
- Orbán, an ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin, made the comments in his reelection speech.
- Zelenskyy criticized Orban, calling him “virtually the only one in Europe to openly support” Putin.
Hungary’s authoritarian prime minister, who is an ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin, referred to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy as one of his “opponents” in his victory speech after he was reelected to a fourth term.
In his Sunday night speech, Viktor Orbán listed out people whom he described as his opponents, which included left-wing politicians in his country, the international media, “and the Ukrainian president too — we never had so many opponents at the same time,” CNN reported.
Orbán supported the EU sanctions on Russia over its invasion of Ukraine, but has repeatedly emphasized “Hungarian interests” and refused to send weapons to Ukraine or let military aid from other countries pass through Hungary to reach Ukraine.
Orbán has also been an outlier in an otherwise united EU in openly criticizing Ukraine’s president. The BBC noted that his comments on Sunday made him the only EU leader to criticize Zelenskyy.
The Guardian noted that Orbán also said he would veto steps to reduce Hungary’s reliance on Russian energy supplies — a move that major European countries, including Germany, have taken recently.
He has also been under pressure in light of his close relationship with Putin.
Zelenskyy on Saturday singled out Orbán, painting him as an outlier to Europe’s response to Russia’s invasion.
“He is virtually the only one in Europe to openly support Mr. Putin,” Zelenskyy said.
He also called out Orbán last month, telling the Hungarian leader “to decide who you are with.”
Orbán, who has opposed immigration and LGBTQ rights, has previously been endorsed by former President Donald Trump.