“Military operation” once again called the Russian invasion of Ukraine Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán, adopting the phraseology used by the Kremlin.

“This is a military operation since war has not been declared between the two countries,” the Hungarian prime minister said today at the annual press conference. “When the Russians declare war on Ukraine, then it will be war,” he argued, adding “let’s be happy while there’s no war. If there is a war, there will be general conscription, and I don’t wish that on anyone.”

Its prime minister Hungary had earlier been asked why he called the war a “military operation” during his meeting in Beijing with Russia’s president Vladimir Putin.

Viktor Orban is the only European leader who has maintained close ties to the Kremlin since the start of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Energy cooperation was the dominant issue in talks between Orban and Putin in Beijing on October 17.

Last week, Orban vetoed a European Union summit blocking a 50 billion euro economic aid package to Kiev. He abstained from voting to open accession talks with Ukraine after other EU leaders persuaded him not to block them.