Hungary on Its Own Side In War, Says PM Orbán

  • 28 Mar 2022 6:35 AM
  • Hungary Matters
Hungary on Its Own Side In War, Says PM Orbán
Hungary stands on its own side in the Russia-Ukraine war, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán told public media after the EU and NATO summit in Brussels. Hungary, he said, was helping everyone in need but wanted to enforce and protect its own national interests.

Certain countries, he insisted, took the position that they were involved in the Russia-Ukraine war. Hungary’s position, he said, was that the war was under way “in our neighbourhood” and “whereas we must not be indifferent to the human suffering and the millions in need” Hungarian interests must not be compromised.

Certain countries, Orbán said, wanted NATO and the EU to get involved in the conflict while other countries like Hungary wanted to stay out of the war.

He said it was clear from the NATO summit that the majority of countries shared Hungary’s position, and NATO stated that it did not want to participate in the war and would not send weapons or soldiers or enforce a no-fly zone.

Commenting on the economic sanctions discussed at the EU summit, the prime minister said helping Ukraine restore peace as soon as possible entailed making it clear to Russia that it was not worth continuing the war.

The related proposal, he added, made sense. “We’re on the side of peace”, he said. But peace should not be restored by introducing sanctions that “would hurt us even more than the Russians”. Hungary, he added, would always support its own national interests in international forums.

Orbán noted he had urged Brussels to make financial resources available to Hungary as soon as possible, and the European Commission’s first response was to offer flexible, fast-tracked funding of 300 million euros.

Commenting on remarks Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky addressed to Orbán at the summit, the prime minister said Zelensky wanted the international community to intervene in the war without delay.

Orbán said it was understandable that Ukraine was asking NATO to get involved in the war in the air and send weapons, but “we are not Ukrainians or Russians, we are Hungarians”.

“In response to the question: whose side is Hungary on, the answer is Hungary stands on Hungary’s side,” Orbán added. Besides helping Ukrainians in need, “which the president should not forget,” Hungary, he said, did not want to get involved in the war because to do so would be against its national interests.

Regarding Hungarian security, Orbán noted that the country is a member of NATO, “a united and strong alliance … stronger than Russia.”

He said if Hungary showed it was ready to defend itself by “doing what is necessary” and deploying its armed forces to the border with Ukraine, its allies would also help.

“Together, we’re stronger than anyone else,” which is the strongest guarantee for security in the world, he said. At the same time, a war in a neighbouring country warranted “strategic calmness, a cool-blooded and reliable definition of Hungarian interests, and taking steps according to those interests,” he said.

Peace, Security ‘at Stake in Election’

Peace and security are now issues in the April 3 general election, Viktor Orbán said in an interview to public radio.

Only the ruling Fidesz party can guarantee peace and security in Hungary, the prime minister said on Sunday, adding that the “international dimension” provided an opportunity to “finally talk seriously, honestly and deeply about highly important issues.” The election, he said, would decide Hungary’s fate “for the next four years at the very least”.

Also, the referendum on child protection held in parallel would have consequences and significance beyond Hungary at European level, too. Orbán said Hungary was “an island of tranquillity” amid “this western gender insanity”.

“We’re still taking the traditional family approach,” he said. “The mother is a woman, the father a man, and they should leave our children be.”

Assessing a European and NATO summit on the war in Ukraine earlier in the week, the prime minister said Hungary’s position had been carbon copied. NATO will not send troops to Ukraine nor transport weapons there, he said, though this did not stop individual member states doing so.

MTI / PM's press office photo: Zoltán Fischer

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