Péter Márki-Zay, the opposition alliance’s candidate for prime minister, made it clear that he would not send Hungarian soldiers to fight in Ukraine. Earlier, several government members and the media close to the government criticized him for allegedly planning to do the opposite, Magyar Hang reports.
Earlier, Péter Márki-Zay had said on ATV and on Partizán that “if Hungary were not acting as Putin’s agent, then it would be natural that as a member of NATO, it can provide all kinds of help and support to Ukraine in any way NATO decides within the framework of the alliance.” Last year, answering a question on the subject, Márki-Zay also said in an interview with Partizán that Hungarian troops should be sent only if NATO requests it, “but for the time being there is no question of that.”
In recent days, several people have accused the opposition politician of wanting to send Hungarian soldiers to fight in Ukraine.
Gergely Gulyás, the prime minister’s chief of staff, as we have also reported before, said that Hungary should not “in any way” get involved in the war. “Just as important is that we should be able to carry on pursuing our own interests.” He accused the Hungarian opposition of “pursuing their selfish power interests,” adding that the opposition was incapable of giving priority to the interests of Hungary and its citizens during a crisis, branding them “irresponsible.” Gulyas added that calls for Hungary to deliver weapons to Ukraine and deploy soldiers there were “irresponsible, ill-considered, and in the present situation, particularly harmful.”
Máté Kocsis, parliamentary group leader of ruling party Fidesz, has also called on politicians of the opposition not to make “irresponsible remarks” or “voice dangerous ideas,” and to “avoid spreading fake news.” He called for “prudence and sober-mindedness” in the interest of maintaining security for all Hungarians and said: “We all stand by Ukraine’s territorial integrity and sovereignty, but the security of our compatriots is more important than anything else.” Kocsis added that “Hungary has no interest in interfering in an armed conflict between Russia and Ukraine, therefore left-wing politicians should not ask for Hungarian troops and arms to be sent to Ukraine,” and concluded that “This is irresponsible and would get Hungary involved in the war — though we won’t allow that to happen.”
In his first speech after the outbreak of the war, the Prime Minister said on Thursday that “there is no question of deploying either troops or military equipment to Ukraine.” He also said in a video published last night after the EU summit: “I made it clear that we’ll stand up for Hungary’s national interests and won’t let anyone plunge Hungary into this war.”
In an official statement, the Government Information Center also said that “we consider it irresponsible and we do not support the opposition’s position that Hungary should send soldiers and weapons to Ukraine.”
After these comments, the opposition’s candidate for prime minister felt the urgency to clarify his stance on the issue of sending Hungarian soldiers to Ukraine.
Péter Márki-Zay wrote in a Facebook post:
Hungary, a NATO member, is aligned with the position of our military alliance and is not sending troops to Ukraine. Hungarian soldiers have no place in a war of a tyrant out of control.”
In the past weeks NATO has also made it clear that they are not planning to send armed forces to defend Ukraine from Russia’s aggression.
Featured image via Péter Márki-Zay’s Facebook page