Diplomacy / We cannot see a way out of the war in Ukraine, and this paralyses European politics 

We cannot see a way out of the war in Ukraine, and this paralyses European politics 

We cannot see a way out of the war conflict in Ukraine, and this paralyses European politics, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán said on Friday in Antalya where at the invitation of Turkish head of state Recep Tayyip Erdogan he attended the Antalya Diplomacy Forum (ADF).

According to the Prime Minister, we must first decide whose side time is on because this is the most important question. 

“If you think that time is on the side of Ukraine and the West, and the continuation of the war can bring about military success for Ukraine, then there is a point in carrying on. If you believe, however, that time is on Russia’s side and the continuation of the war will bring about Russia’s success, then it’s best to stop now. I personally belong to the latter group,” Mr Orbán explained. 

According to the Prime Minister, “we’re in trouble” because since the beginning of the war, many countries other than Hungary have spoken about this as “our war,” and if this is our war and the opponent is stronger and occupies territories, then we will find ourselves on the losers’ side. It is very difficult to explain what we should do and how we should come out of this if we lose the war, he added. 

The Prime Minister also spoke about the fact that he is often referred to as Putin’s poodle or a Trojan horse. 

“I would suggest psychotherapy for this. This is not a political debate,” Mr Orbán pointed out. He said he views the war in Ukraine not from a Ukrainian or from Putin’s perspective; he views the war from a Hungarian perspective. 

“I must represent my country and nation, and I know what is in the Hungarian people’s best interests. If something is good for the Hungarians, I support it; if it isn’t, I’m against it. It’s that simple,” the Prime Minister said. Mr  Orbán spoke about members of the Hungarian community in Transcarpathia who have lived there for a thousand years, and now they are being conscripted into the Ukrainian army.

“Hungarians die in the war in Ukraine,” the Prime Minister laid down, stressing that they are members of the Hungarian nation. He also said peace would mean that Hungarian lives, too, are safe. “Among other things, this is why we Hungarians fully and wholeheartedly support peace,” Mr Orbán said.

The Prime Minister was asked whether he saw Hungary’s future in the European Union. “Of course I do,” Mr Orbán stated, adding that “whoever is Hungarian is also European.” 

“Hungary will always have a special geopolitical place in the European Union,” the Prime Minister stressed, also mentioning that Hungary is a member of the Turkic Council because it is the only nation of eastern origin in Europe, “or at least the only one that is proud of it.” 

According to Mr Orbán, the question is what kind of a European Union we envisage. He said at present, there is a Europe that is based on a progressive, liberal ideology.

“God is not part of any political considerations. The nation and national pride are suspicious, bad, strange, out with them! Family values are not respected because family doesn’t exist in Europe anymore,” Mr Orbán said. The Prime Minister pointed out that there was an ever-increasing gap between liberals and conservatives, but the present majority, too, had to accept that there was a counter opinion. The Prime Minister stressed that he wanted to stay in the European Union, but his goal was for the conservative camp to obtain a majority. 

According to the Prime Minister, after the summer EP elections, a European Parliament with a different composition will be formed in which the Right will be represented more robustly. “There won’t be an overnight revolution, but change will begin with the June election. Or at least, this is what I hope and work for,” the Prime Minister said. 

Mr Orbán also spoke about the fact that from a geopolitical point of view, Sweden’s NATO accession was evident right from the start. If Sweden decides to join, we will support that decision, but that process has its own order: Hungary deserves respect because without respect for Hungary we cannot belong to the same community, he stated. He said there were many intensive debates; in Brussels Hungary is often accused of violating the rule of law, is criticised due to rejecting same-sex marriage and uncontrolled migration, and in that department Sweden was very active. “Let me tell you, Gentlemen, if you want to join NATO, we must rebuild trust between us. Come to us, and let’s do that. And they did come, and we did just that,” the Prime Minister recalled. 

Mr Orbán confirmed that next week in Florida he will meet with former US President Donald Trump whom, he said, he greatly respects. He said had he been the president at the time of the outbreak of the war in Ukraine, there would be no war anymore, and the only serious chance for peace is if he re-elected. 

Mr Orbán was asked whether he would meet with President Joe Biden. “I’m always at his disposal,” said the Prime Minister. He added at the same time that the American people would have to decide who should be the next president. However, from the viewpoint of Hungary and peace, the return of Mr Trump would be more advantageous. 

Finally at the event, the Prime Minister was asked about Hungary’s EU presidency. Mr  Orbán said the Balkans enlargement will be one of Hungary’s priorities, while European competitiveness, too, will be on the agenda in the second half of 2024 when Hungary takes over the presidency of the Council of the European Union. 


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