“Europe is indirectly at war with Russia”, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban declared on Saturday. He also announced that Budapest will not send weapons to Ukraine and will not break economic relations with Moscow.
The Hungarian prime minister criticized sanctions imposed on Russia for invading Ukraine. According to Orbán, 2023 will be the “most dangerous” year since the fall of communism.
On Saturday, February 18, he made an annual summary of Hungary’s domestic and foreign policies. The country’s prime minister devoted a large part of the speech to the war in Ukraine and building relations with Russia.
Viktor Orban accuses the West of “siding with the war” by supplying Ukraine with weapons to fight Russia’s aggressors.
“We will maintain our economic relations with Russia, and we advise the entire Western world to do the same, because without relations there will be neither a ceasefire nor peace negotiations” Viktor Orbán said.
Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán refused to send weapons to Ukraine https://t.co/TAiipYmQRD
— Bloomberg (@business) February 18, 2023
The Hungarian prime minister indicated that his country does not agree that Russian “church personalities” should be included in the sanctions, as it was already “bad enough” to include artists and athletes in these lists.
According to Orban, any non-European country is aware of the “limited significance of the war in Ukraine” and prioritizes the interests of its own people.
“Hungary recognizes Ukraine’s right to self-defense, to fight against external aggression, but it would not be right to put Ukraine’s interests above Hungary’s”, he added.
According to Orbán, there is no real Russian threat to Europe’s security, as Russia would have no chance with NATO. “NATO membership is crucial for us. We are located too far east to give it up,” the prime minister noted.
He also went on to criticize the West’s involvement in military aid to Ukraine. “If you provide weapons, if you provide satellite information needed for military operations, if you train soldiers of one of the warring parties, if you finance the entire state apparatus and impose sanctions on the other side, then no matter what you say, you are in a state of indirect war,” Orbán continued. The politician noted that due to history, he understands the “differences in the views” of Polish and Baltic “friends” towards Russia.
The prime minister once again stressed that Hungary “will stand on the side of peace,” and that the war in Ukraine can only end through US-Russian negotiations.
At the same time, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy invited Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán to visit Kiev; the Ukrainian side hopes that the head of the Hungarian government will be able to come.