By Stefan J. Bos, Chief International Correspondent reporting from Budapest
BUDAPEST (Worthy News) – Hungary’s anti-migration prime minister warns a Russian invasion of Ukraine could send hundreds of thousands of Ukrainian refugees fleeing across the border into his nation.
Viktor Orbán, who seeks re-election in April, spoke over the weekend after warnings that as many as 150,000 Russian troops are near Ukraine’s borders.
Since Russia annexed Ukraine’s Crimean Peninsula in 2014, Orbán has opposed European Union sanctions against Moscow but ultimately voted for them.
He just returned from talks with Vladimir Putin dismissing Western concerns over his perceived cozy relationship with the Russian authoritarian leader.
Hungary also blocked further integration of Ukraine into the NATO military alliance. Budapest says Kyiv should first overturn a Ukrainian language law that violates the rights of the Hungarian ethnic minority.
Yet on Saturday, Orbán said in his annual “State of the Union” address that Ukraine serves as a crucial buffer zone between Hungary and Russia. Its “independence and viability are therefore of direct Hungarian interest.”
Hungary claims it declined reinforcements from NATO and the United States — which have been mobilized in several other Eastern European countries due to the Ukraine crisis.
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