The opposition’s joint candidate for prime minister, Péter Márki-Zay, streamed a video on his YouTube channel about the week’s events, and also appeared in Partizán for an interview. In both videos, he talked about the Ukrainian conflict, the importance of NATO, and what he believes Prime Minister Viktor Orbán’s role is in the situation.
Márki-Zay believes that he and Orbán both say that the NATO position should be taken in the conflict, but when he and the opposition say this, the pro-government media interpret it as meaning that they would send weapons and soldiers, while Orbán would not.
The difference is, as we have also reported before, that Márki-Zay said that if NATO asked for it, he would send weapons and troops to Ukraine, while Orbán did not say this.
“It would be naive to think that if Putin can invade Ukraine, Viktor Orbán would be able to stand up to him, or that the Hungarian army alone would be able to defend Hungary’s territorial integrity and independence,” the opposition politician said, adding:
We also have experience, not only the Ukrainians, of the overwhelming power of Russian tanks. We are not protected by Viktor Orbán, but by NATO.”
Márki-Zay said that Hungary was the only NATO member state that “obeyed Putin” and did not take its own national security into account when Hungary did not want more NATO troops in. Previously, Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó said that “We already have NATO troops on the territory of the country which is the Hungarian Army, and the Hungarian Armed Forces are in proper shape to guarantee the security of the country. So we don’t need additional troops on the territory of Hungary.”
Criticism about Orbán
Márki-Zay thinks that
If Viktor Orbán had not blocked Ukraine’s NATO approach, this war would not have broken out. Viktor Orbán is personally responsible for the fact that there is a war in Ukraine and people are dying.”
The Orbán-led government has been blocking ministerial-level talks between NATO and Ukraine, because Ukraine continued violating the rights of the ethnic Hungarian minority.
Last week, Márki-Zay had posted on his Facebook page about the Hungarian Prime Minister’s visit to Moscow and meeting with President Vladimir Putin, which took place not long before the war broke out, saying that “Orbán didn’t go on a peace mission, he went to prepare for war.” There is, however, no evidence at all for this.
“A war fanatic, he can certainly enjoy himself now. He is spying on the Ukrainian border from Debrecen,” Márki-Zay also said of Orbán.
There is one point on which the candidate agrees with the Prime Minister: “The weathercock has now turned in the right direction, never go back to Putin,” Márki-Zay said, referring to the Prime Minister’s repeated statements in recent days that he was following NATO and EU positions.
Márki-Zay supports economic sanctions against Russia, but does not think that Russian gas taps should be turned off, “just as Orbán has treacherously turned off the gas taps to the Ukrainians at Putin’s behest.” He added that nowhere in Europe has there been any suggestion that economic sanctions should also apply to gas imports. Prime Minister Viktor Orbán said before that “Whatever sanctions EU member states agree on, we’ll back them.”
In addition, Márki-Zay wants the Hungarian government to halt the Paks 2 licensing procedure, immediately ban the Russian International Investment Bank from the country, and ask Péter Szijjártó to return the medal he received from the Russian Foreign Minister. He already talked about these demands before, now, however, he added that Hungary should also ban Russian planes from its airspace.
Opposition MPs called for an extraordinary session of parliament to “stop Viktor Orbán spying from Debrecen on the Ukrainian border, which is not visible from there,” and to tell the people living near the border what measures he will take and how the country will provide humanitarian aid. According to Márki-Zay, the swing politics must end and Orbán must declare that “he will follow NATO’s position in everything and will no longer be Putin’s agent and traitor within the EU.”
Featured image via Péter Márki-Zay’s Facebook page