US expects Orbán to confront Russian influence and keep “ironclad commitment” to NATO

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo recently invited representatives from 79 countries to an all-day meeting on defeating Islamic State and other enemies of the US-led coalition in the Middle East. President Trump and State Secretary Pompeo spoke to the guests. Pompeo called the withdrawal of US troops from Syria as a “tactical change” that does not change the US mission.

Péter Szijjártó, the foreign minister of Hungary and Pavel Klimkin, the foreign minister of Ukraine were both present and spoke on the sidelines. Photos Klimkin published on social media show them having a “passionate” exchange and both were summoned to the White House to meet with John Bolton, US National Security Advisor.

Klimkin and Szijjártó – passionate discussion

After meeting with Szijjártó Bolton tweeted: I welcomed FM Szijjarto of Hungary to the White House today where we discussed defense cooperation, energy diversity, confronting Russian malign influence, & maintaining our ironclad commitment to NATO. A great preview of our 2019 goals & Secretary Pompeo’s trip next week.

Szijjártó and Bolton

After meeting Klimkin: Had a productive meeting with Ukrainian Foreign Minister Klimkin, discussing regional security, Russian interference, and expectations for free and fair elections. Confirmed our mutual commitment to realizing a prosperous Ukraine, whole, free, and at peace. Bolton also attached a smiling photo with Klimkin.

The back-to-back meetings with Szijjártó and Klimkin indicate serious US concern that Hungary as Putin’s ally opened a “Western Front” against Ukraine. Orbán earlier told U.S. diplomats that he wants his country to be “neutral, like Austria.” Hungary also maintains uncomfortably friendly relations with Russia, China and Iran when Washington pushes for a tougher line. (Read WSJ reporting here.)

Klimkin and Bolton – all smiles.

James Kirchick has written in the Washington Post that Hungary is becoming a rogue state in the center of Europe. Orbán is not considered a reliable US ally anymore because he is toying with idea of leaving NATO.

The State Department earlier said that Pompeo plan to travel to Poland and Slovakia; no Budapest stop was included. Now Bolton indicated that Pompeo will visit the Hungarian capital early next week.

György Lázár

12 Comments

  1. „James Kirchick has written in the Washington Post that Hungary is becoming a rogue state in the center of Europe. Orbán is not considered a reliable US ally anymore because he is toying with idea of leaving NATO.“

    Good joke, what did trump say about NATO? OK lets say

    „James Kirchick has written in the Washington Post that USA is becoming a rogue state in the center of America. Trump is not considered a reliable US ally anymore because he is toying with idea of leaving NATO.“ Abra kadabra

  2. György Lázár says:

    Dear Don Kichote, FYI “We’re gonna be with NATO 100 percent, but as I told the countries, ‘You have to step up and you have to pay,'” Trump said while announcing a missile defense review at the Pentagon in January, 2019.

  3. “Ironclad commitment ..”
    Poor Bolton. Obviously he’s never dealt with the gypsy horse trader kind – Orbàn doesn’t have, never had any “ironclad commitment” to anything, moral or material.

  4. Don Hermiston says:

    Orban shouldn’t just toy with the idea of leaving NATO, but do it. NATO is being used by the U.S. to foment war and aggressively encroach on Russia. Russia is not the Soviet Union and is not a threat to anyone, unlike the war-mongering United States who have psychopathic lunatics in its administration such as John Bolton.

  5. Unsurpringly FideszNazi style cynicism to call malign, Troyan-horse like serving of Putinist geopolitical interests, and subjugating the country’s economic interests ( mostly by willfully making it dependent in the energy sector which also makes the country technologicly backward ), while taking advantage of belonging to the European single market ( and recieving large amunts of EU funds, to stuff the pockets of Orbán and his cronies ) to call neutrality like in Austria, Switzerland, Sweden, Finland or Ireland. Those are among the economicly, technologicly most advanced capitalist, parliamentary-representative welfare states, with diverse and sophisticated socio-economic structures that give the foundations of their wealth and relative political and economic independence. Hungary with its ultra-reactionary, authortarian socio-econonomic and political conditions, its almost permanent de facto vassal status through its history can only dream about being like the above mentioned more peaceful and well off countries of the world… And of course could compensate for its poor circumstances with the usual agressive, cannibalistic etno-religious and anti-social, anti-human chauvinism, that of course always targets the weaker segments of society. This chauvinism is of course carefully engineered by the ” affinity fraudsters ” to infect the ultra-reactionary class (almost feudal/cast like ) society from the top to the bottom …

  6. As I pointed out on countless occasions, the one who is about to seriously shaft Ukraine is Germany. An extra 55 Bcm of natural gas will be sold directly to Germany, bypassing Ukraine starting next year thanks to Nord Stream 2. That represents a loss of $1.5 billion in transit revenues for Ukraine. It is strange to say the least that Hungary is singled out as playing Putin’s game, when it is in fact the Germans doing it.

    Hungary most likely plays the “black sheep” that the EU will blame on for not furthering Ukraine’s relations with the EU, while in reality they are breathing a sigh of relief. Ukraine as a new member state would suck up about $15 billion/year in EU funds, which is almost as much as all current Eastern EU members will get in net colonial transfers combined in the next budget cycle. No West European politician can sell that to their constituents. They can’t even sell the need to fill the gap that UK will leave. It is Western multinationals who benefit the most from it, while West European workers pay to have their jobs shipped East. So, if Hungary is playing anyone’s game, it is most likely the EU’s unofficial game.

    As a side note, the “concern” that author continues to show for the basic rights of millions of Ukrainian citizens who happen to belong to an ethnic minority group, whose basic rights are not respected, continues to be “heartwarming”. Hungary’s position is correct from every perspective. From a moral one, standing up for those rights, and from a strategic one, recognizing the dangers of another Milosevic-style government in the region. NATO-US policy seems to be nefarious here, ignoring an issue that has been known to cause wars in the region historically speaking. It suggests that they are either incapable of recognizing the danger, or they want conflict. Either way…

    • I heard Orbán is paying a car for four children, I’d call it provocative prostitution, not to bad. An opportunity Joe, you work in that industry … or I do not understand you.

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