‘Already have a foot in the war!’ Orban hits out at UK over weapons supply to Ukraine

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The Hungarian leader gave a speech in his country’s parliament on Monday, May 16, as he was confirmed as prime minister for a fourth consecutive term.

In a thinly-veiled swipe at Brexit Britain, Poland and Germany, Mr Orban, one of Vladimir Putin’s closest allies in the EU, argued that providing weapons to Ukraine in its fight against Russia means already being engaged in the war.

He said: “The war in our neighbourhood will therefore continue for a long time to come, with weapons in amounts that common sense finds it difficult to comprehend.

“This will pose a constant security threat to Hungary.

“The next decade’s most important task will be to stay out of this war and to protect Hungary’s peace and security.

“This will not be easy, because we are under enormous international pressure.

“To my way of thinking, anyone who supplies weapons already has one foot in the war.

“We are on the side of peace.”

The comments came as Prime Minister Boris Johnson inspected some of the weapons systems being used in the defence of Ukraine.

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Mr Johnson visited a Thales UK plant in east Belfast during a one-day visit to Northern Ireland on Monday.

He was in the region to encourage the Stormont parties to form a new Executive, however his attention later turned to the Ukraine front line.

The UK has provided more than 4,000 anti-tank weapons to Ukraine’s armed forces, including next-generation light anti-tank weapons systems, or NLAWs, and Javelin missiles.

The Government is also supplying Starstreak high-velocity anti-air missiles to help Ukrainians defend themselves against aerial bombings, as well as body armour, helmets and combat boots.

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The Prime Minister spent a couple of hours at the Thales plant meeting management and touring the facility, as well as being given an insight into how weapons systems such as Starstreak are made.

Mr Johnson joked “watch out everybody” as he peered through the aiming unit of a lightweight multiple launcher missile system.

He described the plant as “amazing” and “absolutely crucial to what the Ukrainians are able to do to protect themselves”.

Thales employs several hundred people in Northern Ireland across a number of plants in Belfast and Co Down.

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