Never before has the world been this close to a local war escalating into a world war, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán said on Friday on Kossuth Radio’s programme ‘Good morning, Hungary,’ underlining that it is important that Hungary should be strong in military terms and pro-peace all at once.
The Prime Minister said leaders of the western world are succumbing to the red mist of war, are making statements about the winning of the war and even more sacrifices, and are sending to Ukraine ever more dangerous weapons.
He also pointed out that international public opinion had split into two instead of being united on a pro-peace stance as the Turks, the Arabs, the Chinese and the Africans urge a ceasefire and peace talks.
He stressed that in Europe, other than the Vatican, Hungary was the only pro-peace country. At the same time, he continued, we must not believe that these countries are pro-war entirely out of principle and commitment to their beliefs. There is business speculation in abundance, there are military policy considerations, economic interests and speculation for the advantages that could be gained from the post-war situation, he observed.
The Prime Minister said it is important that Hungary should be strong in military terms and pro-peace all at once. In general, those countries are able to defend themselves whose citizens love their countries; citizens whose first thought is not about how to escape, but about how to defend their countries from the trouble they are in, he laid down.
He highlighted that we must develop a capability where everyone knows what to do when trouble strikes, and we also need people who defend the country with arms if needs be. This is why it is important to have an effective defence force, this is why we must increase the army personnel, enhance the commitment of soldiers to their country and calling, must improve their level of training, must increase their pay and reward, and must supply them with modern weapons, he said.
While we are on the side of peace, Hungary must not become defenceless, the Prime Minister stated, adding that Hungary’s pro-peace stance does not stem from weakness.
We are not begging for mercy, we want peace not because we don’t have the strength to defend ourselves, but because peace is good, while war is bad,he stated.
Mr Orbán described the Left as “pro-war,” and stressed that “as long as they are financed from abroad,” this is what will be expected of them. However, due to the composition of Parliament, “the weight and influence of the peace camp over Hungary’s life is much greater.”
The Prime Minister took the view that at present, Europe’s power structure is being rescripted, and the war serves as a means to achieve that. He highlighted that while we must prepare for the post-war situation, it would not be right for a responsible country leader to engage before the wider public in speculation regarding the outcome of the war.
At the same time, he continued, it is certain that a great opportunity has opened up for those who would like to change the traditional European power of balance that developed around the French-German axis. He took the view that up until recently, the United States had not become directly involved in the shaping of European politics, but now with the war in Ukraine this has changed; the US leads the “war coalition” behind Ukraine. Behind the backs of the heroically fighting Ukrainians we find the Americans. This does not take away from the heroism of the Ukrainians, but the truth is that Ukraine is only able to fight as long as the United States says yes to that, he pointed out, adding that if the United States said no to the continuation of the war, a ceasefire situation would evolve.
He pointed out that Donald Trump – who repeatedly wants to run in the US presidential elections – would like to achieve that, and so the 2024 elections in the United States will have a direct impact on how the war will continue, and whether there will be a ceasefire and peace talks.
The Prime Minister also said the lifting of the sanctions imposed due to the Russo-Ukrainian war would be the swiftest means to reduce inflation. He added that while Hungary was unable to put an end to the policy of sanctions, it would continue to veto the sanctions decisions that would cause the Hungarian economy the most direct losses.
He said he is certain that if the sanctions were lifted tomorrow morning, inflation would immediately, in a single step, decrease to minimum half, and would start returning to the normal range of 2 to 3 per cent. He recalled that we already have ten sanctions packages behind us which mean “ten bloody battles” in a political sense when the Hungarian government was compelled to stand up for Hungary’s interests, and under the leadership of the Foreign Minister, “we successfully completed” these battles.
He confirmed that the government had adopted the twenty measures, in consequence of which by the end of the year, by 31 December, inflation would fall to below ten per cent and would become single-digit.
He added that these decisions – with which the government seeks to protect families, pensioners and small and medium-sized businesses – are widely accepted, and there is also agreement on that they will deliver the desired results. The question is how swiftly, but most definitely by the end of the year, he said.
He also said on the so-called gender issue he saw an unbridgeable gap between Brussels and Hungary. He stated at the same time that “as we will not make any compromise, eventually Brussels will have to.” Parents have every right to expect the government to help protect children, to keep the raising of children within parental responsibility, and to prevent the popularisation in schools of forms of life that the parents did not consent to, he stated.
In continuation, he said gender identity forms part of the latter as according to the Hungarian mentality, there is no place in schools for gender propaganda – propaganda that seeks to make children uncertain about their gender identity. Notwithstanding this, Brussels wants to take it back to schools. However, this could result in the loosening of the norms protecting children, in the wake of which we may suddenly find that there is a rise in acts of paedophilia in Hungary, Mr Orbán said.