Diplomacy / Peace is needed in Ukraine as soon as possible
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Peace is needed in Ukraine as soon as possible

In an interview given to American media personality Tucker Carlson which was released on Wednesday morning Central European time on Mr Carlson’s X social media account, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán warned of the threat of World War III and urged peace in the Russo-Ukrainian war within the shortest possible time. He also said an agreement should be reached with the Russians with respect to a new security architecture “in order to provide security and sovereignty for Ukraine, but not NATO membership.”

“We are living in a very dangerous moment. World War III could be knocking on our door,” the Hungarian Prime Minister said, adding that therefore we must be very careful, “that’s my message, always, to America as well, at the NATO summit: be careful.”

He said if any Western country were to send soldiers to the ground, that would mean a direct war between the West and Russia, and then “we would immediately find ourselves in World War III.” This is therefore a very dangerous moment, he added.

Arguing for peace, Mr Orbán highlighted that a significant Hungarian minority of more than 150,000 lives in the territory of Ukraine. “Hungarian soldiers are dying for Ukraine as Ukrainian citizens. So, we the Hungarian nation, we are losing lives daily also,” he said.

He further said NATO as an institution itself says precisely “what we are saying,” meaning that there is no involvement, and “we should do as much as we can for peace .” At the same time, NATO also says that the Member States should do everything they can to support the Ukrainians, he added, observing that therefore, it should be clarified that what is happening at present, including that the United States’ foreign policy supports and finances the Ukrainians, is not NATO’s policy, it is the policy of the United States, and that is a big difference.

Mr Orbán confirmed his position that the strategy of incumbent US President Joe Biden that “wants to crush the Russians somehow” will not work. He pointed out that based on this strategy, Ukrainian soldiers are fighting, while certain Member States of NATO are financing the war and are supporting this fight with military equipment. “We Hungarians were very clear at the very first point. This strategy will never work. So this is a bad strategy. And now we have one and a half years of the war and it’s obvious that this is a bad strategy,” the Prime Minister stressed.

He said what finally will count is boots on the ground, and the Russians are far stronger. They are far more numerous than the Ukrainians, he added.

“We have to understand that we cannot beat them as we do just now. It’s impossible. They will not kill their leader. They will never give it up. They will keep together the country and they will defend it,” he said about Russia and Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Mr Orbán pointed out that peace was the only solution.

If the United States wanted peace, there would be peace the very next morning. If money and equipment stopped pouring in from the West, especially from the United States, the war would end, the Prime Minister stressed, stating that “the solution is in your hands,” only the United States is able to resolve the situation, no one else, including the Ukrainians. While this is all about the Ukrainians and so they cannot be disregarded, they must be involved, the real factor is the will of the United States, not the will of Ukraine, the Prime Minister stressed.

“Call back Trump. That’s the only way out,” Mr Orbán stated, comparing the foreign policies of Joe Biden and his predecessor and challenger Donald Trump.

His was the best foreign policy of the past few decades. He did not initiate any new war. He managed the North Koreans and the Russians, even the Chinese well. He pursued a policy which was the best possible policy for the Middle East, said the Hungarian Prime Minister about Mr Trump.

He also said had he been the president the moment the Russian invasion started, the Russians would not have been able to do what they did. “So, Trump is the man who can save the Western world and probably the human beings in the globe as well. That’s my personal conviction.”

In answer to Mr Carlson’s suggestion that “it seems very obvious that the Biden administration blew up Nord Stream, either directly or through proxies,” Mr  Orbán recalled that when it happened, “we commented it as a terrorist attack.” This was rejected by Germany and the West.

This is, in actual fact, proof of a lack of sovereignty. However, this is the Germans’ business, “I would not like to criticise them,” the Prime Minister said.

Regarding TurkStream via which gas is coming to Hungary via Turkey, Bulgaria and Serbia, the Prime Minister said together with the Serbian Prime Minister and the Serbian President, “we made it very clear” that if anyone were to do the same to the southern corridor as what was done to the northern one, “we would consider it a reason for war or a terrorist attack, and we would immediately react.” Therefore, it is best if no one even tries.

The Prime Minister also stated that the Hungarian economy was strong enough to survive the present difficult period and to even grow.

“It’s not easy, it’s far easier to cooperate with the United States government. It’s a far nicer horizon to have a good relation, but even without that we can stand and we can survive, and we can grow. Even we can grow,” he said.

He mentioned that while the US administration had terminated the agreement on the avoidance of double taxation between Hungary and the United States, the same agreement between Russia and the United States was still in effect. Meaning that though “we are a member of NATO, we are an ally to the United States, we are treated worse than the Russians,” he underlined.

In answer to a question regarding the fact that in the last elections the Biden administration used the money of American taxpayers for a campaign against the Hungarian government, Mr Orbán said they paid “big money.” In response to the suggestion that “most Americans did not understand that their tax dollars went to defeat you in Hungary,” the Prime Minister said “exactly.”

The Prime Minister also said the word ‘liberal’ originally meant freedom. “But now in Europe, liberal means that you are the enemy of freedom because you have a hegemonistic request on society, on the values and the concept of human being as well. So liberals are against freedom.”

He added that the Hungarian Constitution focuses on the community, on how the family, nation and God belong together. In Hungary, people like that comprise the majority of society, but this mentality “is totally out of fashion now in Western European societies,” he underlined. “In Hungary, we are still very patriotic and Christian and committed to those values. Not on an ideological level, but on the streets every day,” he said.

Mr Orbán further said the United States is still the world’s number one great power. “If you criticise somebody, we have to be very cautious how to deal with that,” he said, adding that the incumbent Democrat government “regularly” does that to Hungary. However, “this is not the voice of America, it’s the voice of the administration of the United States. Not all Americans have the same approach as the government,” he pointed out.

He said “the Republicans are far closer on a value basis to us.” The previous president Donald Trump is a friend of Hungary “on a value basis, historically and wholeheartedly.”

Regarding the proceedings currently under way against Mr Trump, he stressed that “to use the justice system against political opponents, in Hungary, I think, it’s impossible to imagine.” He took the view that “if you follow that track, [there is] no chance to unify the nation. If the nation is not unified, you can’t run for big purposes.”

Political “competition is okay, but it must be fair, legally perfect. Otherwise, you can sacrifice your country and the future of your country for your personal success, which is not acceptable, at least not in ours”, Mr Orbán stressed.

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