Hungary’s prime minister, Viktor Orban, on Sunday evening dubbed his Ukrainian counterpart, Volodymyr Zelensky, one of his opponents, following a landslide election victory for the nationalist leader.
Orban and his right-wing Fidesz party won a comfortable majority over the opposition United for Hungary alliance on Sunday, despite expectations for a tight race.
In a 10-minute speech to his supporters following the election, he claimed victory and then denounced what he described as an “overwhelming force” that had been against him and his campaign — which included Zelensky.
“The left at home, the international left all around, the Brussels bureaucrats, the [George] Soros empire with all its money, the international mainstream media, and in the end, even the Ukrainian president,” he said, according to a translation by The Associated Press.
Fifty-eight-year-old Orban has often boasted of his close relationship with Russian President Vladimir Putin, but that link became a major challenge for the electoral campaign of his ruling Fidesz party.
Hungary gets close to 85% of its gas an 64% of its oil from Russia, and the country became the first EU nation to buy a Russian-made Covid-19 vaccine — even though it wasn’t approved by European regulators.
However, Orban has condemned Russia’s unprovoked invasion of Ukraine, and his government has approved, together with the other EU member states, tough sanctions against Russian oligarchs and the Russian economy.