Hungary's Orbán hopes for right-wing 'transatlantic peace coalition'

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban speaks during an anti-war Peace March, organized by the Civic Union (COF) in Budapest. Szilard Koszticsak/TASR/dpa
Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban speaks during an anti-war Peace March, organized by the Civic Union (COF) in Budapest. Szilard Koszticsak/TASR/dpa

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán on Saturday said right-wing parties on both sides of the Atlantic could play a role in ending the Russian war in Ukraine.

Speaking to more than 10,000 supporters at a rally in Budapest ahead of next week's European Parliament elections, Orbán envisaged a "trans-Atlantic peace coalition" spearheaded by the European right and Donald Trump, should Trump win US presidential elections in November.

"At the beginning of the year we were still in the minority, by the end of the year we could be in the majority in the entire Western world," he added.

Orbán, in office since 2010, is widely seen as Russian President Vladimir Putin's closest partner in the EU. He has repeatedly threatened to prevent or water down EU sanctions on Moscow in the wake of Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine in February 2022.

The Hungarian prime minister said a ceasefire and peace negotiations should occur as quickly as possible in Ukraine, warning that a third world war could destroy Hungary.

Orbán accused a "war camp" in Brussels of wanting to push the Western world into taking up arms against Russia.

Its driving force, Orbán said, is the Hungarian-American philanthropist George Soros, who has been the target of conspiracy theories worldwide.

Orbán said Soros has been working "for 30 years" to drag the West into a war with Russia, in order to replace the millions of killed soldiers with migrants.

Orbán's governing Fidesz party is leading in Hungarian polls ahead of the European elections on June 9, but victory is not assured. The new Respect and Freedom party, formed by former Fidesz insider Péter Magyar, is challenging Orbán.

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban speaks during an anti-war Peace March, organized by the Civic Union (COF) in Budapest. Szilard Koszticsak/TASR/dpa
Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban speaks during an anti-war Peace March, organized by the Civic Union (COF) in Budapest. Szilard Koszticsak/TASR/dpa