• One handshake, but zero promises

    When NATO leaders gathered for their “family photo” at the recent summit in Vilnius, the cameras captured a surprising moment. Walking onto the stage, United States president Joe Biden shook hands with just one leader: Viktor Orbán, prime minister of Hungary.

    Given the not-so-amicable relationship between the two countries, most commentators speculated that the gesture was to thank Hungary for its willingness to finally support Sweden’s NATO accession.

    However, as the summit ended, it became clear that the handshake was not enough to change Budapest’s position. As senior government officials admit Hungary is waiting for Turkey to lift its veto, there is still no date set for the final vote in Parliament, which would be necessary to fulfil Orbán’s promise.

    Orbán also made it clear in an interview his views on Washington were unaltered: that if America wanted peace, it could happen by the next morning. But that the conflict in Ukraine would drag on because people in the West wanted the war to continue.

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