Hungary's Orbán resists emotional appeal by Zelensky to provide weapons to Ukraine and enforce sanctions against Russia
Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán is viewed as one of Europe’s few Putin-aligned leaders as well as one of its least enthusiastic proponents of democracy
Hungary’s prime minister on Friday rejected an emotional appeal from Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to supply Ukraine with weapons and support sanctions on Russia’s energy sector.
Prime Minister Viktor Orbán said in a video posted to social media that Zelensky’s requests were “against Hungary’s interests.”
He said that 85% of Hungary’s gas and more than 60% of its oil come from Russia, and that blocking Russian energy exports would force Hungarians to “pay the price of the war.”
The rejection came after Zelensky on Thursday addressed a meeting of European Union leaders in Brussels where he specifically appealed to Orbán, who is widely considered Russian President Vladimir Putin’s closest ally in the EU and among Europe’s least enthusiastic supporters of democracy.
Hungary, alone among EU countries bordering Ukraine, has declined to supply its neighbor with weapons and refused to allow weapons shipments to cross its border into Ukraine.