Viktor Orbán, Aleksandar Vucic, and Karl Nehammer discussed the war in Ukraine and illegal migration at a summit in Belgrade. The Hungarian Prime Minister argued for Serbia’s EU membership.
Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán called for a ceasefire in Ukraine at a joint press conference with Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic and Austrian Chancellor Karl Nehammer in Belgrade on Wednesday. The three leaders held a summit to discuss their joint efforts against illegal migration.
He highlighted that on Tuesday, Polish nationals had died, “and it is very important to offer our condolences, and to understand that as there is a war right next door to us, we are in danger.” The fact that Poland has lost lives on its own territory clearly shows that “if there is a war under way in the territory of your neighbor, you yourself are not safe either,” he pointed out.
The fact that the supply of oil in the Friendship pipeline stopped on Tuesday, showed that the economy is in danger too, he warned. “If you yourself, your citizens and your economy are in danger, then you must strive for one thing: you must strive to avert that danger, and there is only one way to do so: with a ceasefire,” he reiterated.
According to Orbán, Serbia should receive its full EU membership as soon as possible, because this is also a European interest.
Serbia is a key country to European security, and when Serbia protects its own borders, it does not only protect itself, but also Hungary, Austria and the entire European Union,”
the Prime Minister explained.
He said that in the second half of 2024, Hungary will hold the presidency of the EU, and if there is no meaningful progress until then, Hungary could facilitate the process during that period.
Until Serbia is admitted, “the only goal we can pursue is to push our lines of defense as far south as possible, and to create a joint border protection force together with Serbia and Austria,” Orbán stressed, adding that “Hungary will immediately make the personnel and technical equipment necessary for the purpose available.”
Orbán said that so far this year, as many as 250,000 illegal border-crossing attempts had been foiled, and “not only are they (illegal migrants) ever more numerous, they are also ever more aggressive.” These days, human smugglers do not only carry weapons, but at times they also use them against members of the Hungarian authorities protecting the border, he added.
He warned that “the entire Balkans region is suffering,”and
migration should be stopped, not managed. Migrants will only stop coming to your country in one case only, if they know that they will not succeed.”
He said a migrant is a person who attempts to cross borders illegally, and action must be taken against any illegal act by the application of laws. “We are talking about countries of consequence here; Hungary, too, is a country of consequence, it has rules and upholds those rules, if necessary, with force,” he said.
Prior to the press conference, the parties signed a memorandum of understanding about the reinforcement of cooperation in the fight against illegal migration.
Photos via Miniszterelnök.hu and Viktor Orbán’s Facebook page