Hungary's Orban accuses US of meddling in central Europe

23rd December 2014, Comments 0 comments

Hungary's prime minister on Tuesday accused Washington of meddling in the internal affairs of central European countries, saying its allegations of graft were a "cover story".

"The United States does not simply interfere, but is an active participant in the internal political life of central European countries," Viktor Orban said in an end-of-year interview on state television M1.

"We have entered a new era," he added.

Orban said Cold War-like conditions were developing between the United States and Russia over the conflict in Ukraine, and that Budapest wanted to remain neutral on the issue.

"They want to draw us into a conflict that we cannot come out of well," Orban said. "We have to stay out of it," he said.

Washington in October slapped an entry ban on six Hungarian officials, including the head of the national tax office, over alleged corruption.

"Every thinking man knows that the corruption charges are a cover story," Orban said. "The US wants influence," he said in Tuesday's interview.

Critics accuse the controversial Orban of undermining democracy and cosying up to Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Earlier this month Republican Senator John McCain called Orban a "neofascist dictator", hand in glove with Putin. Orban said McCain's remarks were an "attack on national independence".

© 2014 AFP

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