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Independent Ukraine is in the Hungarian national interest: Orban

“An independent and sovereign Ukraine is in the Hungarian national interest,” Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban said on Wednesday at the annual closing press conference. He stressed that he did not want to give up cooperation with Russia, however, and that Budapest perceived the war in Ukraine differently than the government in Warsaw.

“Ukraine can only be independent and sovereign if its territorial integrity is preserved,” Orban noted. He added that it is necessary to reach a ceasefire and peace negotiations, which should be led by U.S. and Russia.

The Hungarian PM stated that a visit to Ukraine is not among his plans for the next year. He also underlined that his government does not intend to send weapons to Ukraine or finance military equipment for Kyiv. He added that Hungary agreed to the EU aid to Ukraine in the amount of EUR 18 billion because his country was “alone in opposition”.

“There is a well-established, historical Polish-Hungarian common destiny, which is of great value. However, the Hungarian approach to the war in Ukraine differs significantly from the Polish approach,” noted Orban.

Ukraine does not defend Hungary, security for Hungary is not ensured by Ukraine, but by NATO. In this sense, the outcome of the war in Ukraine has no impact on the security of our country,” he added.

Orban said that the issue of energy could be a priority for the Visegrad Group countries, but he also criticised the approach to energy from the perspective of sanctions.

Hungarian PM stressed that he did not want to give up cooperation with Russia, and separating Europe from the Russian economy was not in the Hungarian national interest. He also mentioned the transmission of green energy from Azerbaijan to Hungary via Georgia and Romania using a cable under the Black Sea. The investment recently agreed upon in Bucharest, is to be completed by 2026-2027.

Asked about inflation, Orban said that the most important reason for the increase in prices is the sanctions against Russia. He added that the government did not consider a loan from the International Monetary Fund, which would be a threat to the country’s independence.

He also outlined several goals for the next year, including staying out of war and economic recession in Europe, as well as bringing inflation to single-digit levels. Orban added that staying out of the war in Ukraine, ensuring the country’s energy supply, and fighting illegal immigration are among the greatest achievements of the government this year.

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