Hungary’s doubletalk: Simicskó welcomes NATO troops, Szijjártó would send them home

Over the last couple of weeks United States F-16 fighter planes and several hundred US National Guard Airmen have been deployed at the Pápa airbase in Hungary in conjunction with Operation Atlantic Resolve, the largest and most complicated air integration mission in the region since the end of the Balkan operations. (Read more about it here.)

The US Department of Defense explains Operation Atlantic Resolve at its website. “The United States is demonstrating its continued commitment to collective security through a series of actions designed to reassure NATO allies and partners of America’s dedication to enduring peace and stability in the region in light of the Russian intervention in Ukraine.” (See DOD website here.)

The Colorado Air National Guard has been flying F-16s from Pápa and the exercise involves Hungarian Gripens, Czech Gripens, Slovenian PC-9s, Slovakian MiG 29s, and a United States KC-135 and C-130, as well as tactical ground controllers from all five nations. Mr. István Simicskó, Hungarian Defense Minister, stood on the tarmac at Pápa with US Ambassador Ms. Colleen Bell and assured NATO partners that Hungary is a reliable ally who understands the seriousness of the Russian threat.

Mr. István Simicskó, Hungarian Defense Minister greets US NATO soldiers at Pápa Air Base with US Ambassador Ms. Colleen Bell.

Mr. István Simicskó, Hungarian Defense Minister greets US NATO soldiers at Pápa Air Base with US Ambassador Ms. Colleen Bell.

Within days Mr. Péter Szijjártó, Hungarian Foreign Minister declared in an interview that Russia does not represent a threat in the region; so there is no need for NATO soldiers in Hungary! (Read Szijjártó’s interview here.)

Here is another example of Hungary’s increasingly dangerous political double-talk. While Mr. Simicskó warmly welcomes US NATO soldiers Mr. Szijjártó says that they should go home. Mr. Szijjártó also sends the signal to Russian President Putin that Hungary is an “unwilling ally” in this US-led training exercise. Prime Minister Orbán has been only mildly critical (if at all) of Russia’s annexation of Crimea and intervention in Ukraine.

Mr. Péter Szijjártó, Hungary's Foreign Minister and US Ambassador Ms. Colleen Bell.  Mr. Szijjártó would send NATO soldiers home.

Mr. Péter Szijjártó, Hungary’s Foreign Minister and US Ambassador Ms. Colleen Bell. Mr. Szijjártó would send NATO soldiers home.

There is a proverb that says, one who sits between two chairs may easily fall down. Hungary may be in for hard landing. Orbán is already considered an unreliable NATO ally and it seems to me that he is also an unreliable Putin friend.

I just hope that one day the Hungarian public also realizes that their government is misleading the Hungarian People.

György Lázár

One Comment

  1. Dr. Habil. András Fodor says:

    Szijjártó is the bad soul of the Hungarian government. I consider him as the Hungarian Foreign Minister of Putin. I would sent him home, let me not go into details wherem

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