Tucker Carlson, Fierce NATO Critic, To Speak at 'CPAC Hungary' With Orbán

Fox News' Tucker Carlson is set to speak in a video address this week at CPAC Hungary 2022 (Conservative Political Action Conference) alongside Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán.

CPAC Hungary 2022, the first such conference to be held in Europe, will be hosted by the Center for Fundamental Rights and the American Conservative Union (ACU) on May 19 and 20 in Budapest. As the war between Ukraine and Russia rages on and Finland and Sweden have submitted their NATO applications, it is expected that speakers will reflect on the future of Europe and NATO as well as on conservative issues.

Orbán, who is a long-time supporter of Putin and did choose to side with other EU countries in imposing some sanctions on Moscow following the invasion of Ukraine, is to be the keynote speaker at the event.

Viktor Orban Tucker Carlson
Tucker Carlson (L) speaks during the Mathias Corvinus Collegium (MCC) Feszt on August 7, 2021 in Esztergom, Hungary. Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán (R) gestures as he speaks during a joint press conference with Slovenia's counterpart Janez Jansa after a meeting in Lendava, on February 21, 2022. Tucker Carlson is to speak at a CPAC Hungary event alongside Orbán. Janos Kummer and Jure Makovec/Getty Images

"We know that we are facing serious challenges. CPAC Hungary is looking for the answer to how we can protect Western civilization, true Western values, how we can resist the attacks of the left," the CPAC website said.

Tucker Carlson, who has regularly been critical of NATO, is expected to continue to question the necessity of its expansion.

Earlier this week, during his show on Monday night, he attacked the military alliance and questioned what was its purpose in modern times.

"NATO is the most successful military alliance in world history, yes it kept the Soviet Union from invading Western Europe, what is the point of NATO now?" Carlson said.

"Can anyone explain? No, no one can explain and instead of explaining we hear demands that NATO expand as rapidly as possible, damn the consequences and the benefits to the United States.

"What are the benefits exactly? Again silence."

Newsweek has contacted Fox News, CPAC organizers and Hungary's Prime Minister's Office for comment.

New York Times security correspondent David Sanger, in a report last week on NATO, reflected on what stance Hungary, a NATO member, could take on Sweden and Finland joining.

He wrote: "Many believe Mr. Putin will lean on Hungary and its Prime Minister, Viktor Orbán to reject the applications"

Orbán has stopped short of criticizing Putin directly since the start of the invasion and has prevented weapons passage through Hungary to neighboring country Ukraine. While he supported an initial set of sanctions, he has opposed proposals for EU sanctions on Russian natural gas. This has resulted in speculation as to whether Orbán will oppose Sweden and Finland joining the military bloc.

Turkey though, another of NATO's 30 member states, has already indicated that it could oppose the expansion of the military union. President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said on Friday that "we don't hold positive views" for Finland and Sweden joining NATO.

Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov has reiterated Russia would not accept Finland or Sweden joining NATO, after the Ukraine crisis brought the two militarily non-aligned countries to the brink of joining the trans-Atlantic alliance.

He made the comments to reporters on Monday, relayed through state-owned news agency TASS. He was discussing the news of Sweden's ruling party approving the country's bid to join NATO on Sunday, as well as Finnish politicians calling for their country to join the alliance "without delay."

However, on the same day, Putin appeared to soften the rhetoric surrounding Russia's opposition to NATO expansion, according to a Politico report.

"As for the expansion [of NATO], including through new members of the alliance—Finland, Sweden—Russia wants to inform you that it has no problems with these states," Putin said while speaking at a gathering in Moscow of leaders from the member countries of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO), the Russia-backed military alliance.

"Therefore, in this sense, expansion on account of these countries does not pose a direct threat to Russia," he said

Putin went on to warn that NATO should not choose to move weapons into Sweden and Finland if they are allowed to join the military bloc.

The two Nordic states, Finland and Sweden, have historically been non-aligned militarily. Sweden has not fought a war in more than 200 years, while Finland signed an agreement with Russia in 1948 that included Helsinki isolating itself militarily from Western Europe. Finland shares an 807-mile border with Russia and gained independence from the nation in 1917.