US Asks Hungary To Host Troops Aimed At Russia, Despite Long Snubbing Orbán

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by Tyler Durden
Saturday, Jan 29, 2022 - 12:20 AM

It's been revealed that the United States approached Hungary this week to ask the country to host a temporary troop deployment related to the Russia-Ukraine crisis. Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto "received an American request about temporary deployment of troops" - CNN reports

Hungary's Defense Ministry is said to be discussing the formal request; however, given the tense US administration relationship with the Viktor Orbán government since Biden took office - centered on seeking to isolate the conservative prime minister known for his unapologetic 'Hungary first' policies - the prospect remains highly unlikely. This comes as Biden announced Friday that he'll be sending a small number of American forces to Eastern Europe: "I’ll be moving troops to eastern Europe in the NATO countries in the near term." He qualified in the remarks reporters at Joint Base Andrews after returning from Pittsburg that this will be "not too many" troops. 

A mere less than two months ago, Biden tried to humiliate Hungary's "human rights backsliding" leader:

On Thursday and Friday, U.S. President Joe Biden will gather leaders from over 100 countries to a virtual "Summit for Democracy." He invited rule-of-law troublemaker Poland. He invited Serbia, despite some questionable democratic credentials. He invited every EU member but one. 

That one was Hungary.

CNN further reports that Romania and Bulgaria are also mulling the acceptance of additional US deployments. Both eastern European NATO countries are typically much more amenable to US security requests, and Romania already provocatively hosts coastal defense missiles on the Black Sea.

Suddenly Washington wants something from Hungary, after seeking to isolate and humiliate Budapest...

Viktor Orbán via Reuters

Among the security guarantees Russia is currently seeking from Washington and Brussels is precisely that NATO forces leave Bulgaria and Romania.

Thus when it comes to Hungary, from the point of view of officials in Budapest they are unlikely to want to see their country thrust into the middle of the tense escalating Russia vs. West standoff. 

"The deployments would number approximately 1,000 personnel to each country and would be similar to the forward battle groups currently stationed in the Baltic States and Poland," CNN notes of the numbers under initial discussion - though without doubt this would be ramped up in the instance of any potential Russian incursion into Ukraine. 

Meanwhile, in a Russian media interview FM Sergey Lavrov said Friday "If it’s up to the Russian Federation, there will be no war. We do not want wars. But we won’t allow the West to grossly ignore our interests, either," according to Sputnik.