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World Media Takes Notice of Viktor Orbán’s Berlin Remarks

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán’s visit to Berlin has been widely reported in the German and international press. Some of his suggestions were deemed provocative.

The Financial Times, the Washington Post, and Politico, among others, highlighted that Viktor Orbán said at a panel discussion in Berlin on Tuesday that only former US President Donald Trump could end the war in Ukraine while calling for direct talks between the US and Russia to establish a ceasefire.

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Several German media outlets  – including Die Welt and Merkur for example – highlighted that Viktor Orbán said former German Chancellor Angela Merkel could have prevented the current escalation in Ukraine. The press also pointed out that the Prime Minister said that it was not Ukraine and Russia, but the United States and Russia that should start peace talks.

An opinion piece in the Austrian newspaper Die Presse wrote that Viktor Orbán was too lenient on Russian aggression when he said US President Joe Biden had gone too far by calling Russian President Vladimir Putin a war criminal. The paper says Orbán is in the minority with his view that Donald Trump would bring peace.

According to the Swiss Neue Zürcher Zeitung, the Hungarian government’s “swing policy” on Ukraine has not helped Viktor Orbán “win the hearts of all Berliners”.

Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung has called Viktor Orbán a “provocateur” like Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin. According to the German paper’s print edition, the Hungarian Prime Minister often says things “that have nothing to do with the facts”.

Germany’s Die Tagespost reported positively on the Berlin panel discussion. According to the author, Viktor Orbán is the Hungarian Asterix. “He defends his Gaul village, Hungary, from all the restrictions on freedom threatened by the evil ‘Romans’ in Brussels”, the author writes. According to him, the Hungarian Prime Minister’s “magic is his pronounced Hungarian sense of freedom – or, as Viktor Orbán himself put it, this sense of freedom is the essence of his country’s national identity. He wants his children to be able to say that their parents’ generation fought for and defended this Hungarian freedom”.

Featured photo via Miniszterelnöki Sajtóiroda/Fischer Zoltán

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