Hungary – On Monday, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán was a guest on the show Napi Aktuális Extra on Hír TV. He took the opportunity to explain the Hungarian stance on the Russian-Ukrainian war once again.
“It’s a Russian-Ukrainian war”
Viktor Orbán stated: “It is quite obvious that, in Hungary, the national side [the Fidesz-KDNP alliance, ed.] is saying that this is a Russian-Ukrainian war, and that we are the Hungarians,
so we will help those who need it, but at the same time we will not take any measures that could put Hungary in danger.
(…) We remain on the side of peace. We will not supply weapons, we will not send soldiers, and we will not allow weapons to pass through Hungary into Ukraine.”
The opposition would drag Hungary into the conflict
At the same time, the Prime Minister said that the left-wing opposition was “involved in this conflict”: “They do not see a conflict that is a war between two other nations, but a conflict in which they are directly involved, and
they think it would be the right thing for Hungary to get involved in it. If possible, the left would send troops, allow the passage of arms shipments, and even send arms as part of NATO.”
In principle, NATO will not intervene
However, for the Hungarian PM, “the question is whether there is something we will do together [as part of NATO] with all members (…) taking part. The answer is no,
there will be no such action. NATO, as an alliance of nations, will not send troops and will not send weapons.”
Viktor Orbán also referred to the differences of opinion within NATO regarding the current Russian-Ukrainian war:
“There are those within NATO who constantly want to drag it into this conflict, contrary to the Hungarian position. And the Hungarian left, as far as I can see, is more in line with them,
with those important countries. They want to satisfy those important countries which would like to push NATO into this conflict. So I cannot reassure the Hungarian public that NATO’s position is irreversible once and for all.
Hungary will always help those in need
Then the Hungarian Prime Minister reminded his audience that his role is first and foremost to look after Hungarian interests: “People are dying, countries are falling apart, economies are collapsing. So here we cannot put ourselves in the place of one of the players, but we have to make it clear that, when it comes to Hungary, […] we have clear interests,
we have responsibilities, we must always help those in need, and we will help them; we will help them beyond our means. If I look at all the European aid being given, we are the ones who have welcomed the largest number of refugees in relation to our population,
we provide for the needs of the largest possible number of people, a number that already amounts to more than 5% of the Hungarian population. So we are not a lousy nation, we are a great nation that is doing the right thing morally. But we cannot help the Ukrainians by tearing Hungary apart.”
Opposition to the sanctions being extended to the energy sector
On the issue of the possible extension of sanctions against Russia to the energy sector, Viktor Orbán reiterated that
“It will not help if we close the Russian gas and oil taps and the Hungarian economy stalls within three or four days.”
The Hungarian objective is a return to peace
Summarising his stance, the Hungarian Prime Minister added: “We have a clear position:
Hungary’s interest is to have peace, and I think it is [also] in the interest of both Ukrainians and Russians. So we advocate peace and say that a ceasefire is what is necessary, instead of continuing the war.”