A ceasefire and peace talks are needed instead of an escalation of the war, because many people are dying every day in the war in Ukraine, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán said at the Qatar Economic Forum on Tuesday.
In a discussion with John Micklethwait, editor-in-chief of Bloomberg, he pointed out that Hungary views the conflict in Ukraine from a different perspective to the mainstream European viewpoint because it is a neighbor of the country at war, which has a significant Hungarian minority on its territory, many of whose members have lost their lives in the clashes.
The prime minister called the war a failure of diplomacy that should never have happened.
Orbán said the main issue in the conflict was not who attacked whom but what would happen the next morning: more people would die. He added that he believes that peace can only be achieved through an agreement between the United States and Russia.
Ukraine cannot win the war against Russia,”
Orbán said, adding that “if you look at the numbers, if you look at the reality on the ground, if you look at the refusal of NATO to send troops, it is clear that there is no victory for the Ukrainians on the battlefield.”
Orbán said that “from an emotional point of view this war is a tragedy, and that is why we support the Ukrainians with all our hearts, and we understand how much they are suffering.” “But as a politician, I have to consider saving lives, that is the most important thing for the international community,” he said.
On the blacklisting of Hungarian OTP Bank in Ukraine and the subsequent blocking of payments from the European Peace Facility by Hungary, Orbán said that it is a matter of principle that if a country, including Ukraine, expects financial support from us, it should show respect and not blacklist Hungarian companies.
If you need our money, show respect and do not sanction our companies,”
Regarding Sweden’s accession to NATO, Orbán said that political relations between the two countries were terrible and that they needed to be improved first, because Hungary does not want to import conflicts into NATO.
The prime minister said that Hungary disagreed with the EU on two strategic issues: the so-called policy of risk reduction in relations between Brussels and Beijing, and the way the war in Ukraine should be settled. He said that the withholding of EU funds was due to these issues.
Contrary to the EU’s vision, Hungary is in favor of closer ties and closer trade and political relations, Orbán continued, adding that Hungary is a very open country with significant exports.
China offers huge opportunities which should not be missed,”
he warned. “It depends on our attitude whether China will be a partner or an adversary of the West,” Orbán noted.
“Nowadays in Europe, if you act in the national interest, you can easily be accused of being pro-Russian,” the Hungarian Prime Minister said in response to the moderator’s questions about the Paks II nuclear power plant expansion.
My compass always points toward the Hungarian national interest,”
Asked about US-Hungarian relations, he said the Democrats are interfering in people’s lives, but Hungarians do not like that. Democrats are led more on ideological grounds than the Republicans. Democrats regularly try to convince people of their principles and sometimes even impose their will on others, Orbán explained.
I do not like it, we have our own culture, our own way of life, do not interfere, please! Do not lecture us, do not tell us what is right and what is wrong! It is not the job of the Americans, nor of any other nation, to tell Hungarians how to live,”
he stressed, adding that former Republican President Donald Trump understands this well.
Featured photo via MTI/Miniszterelnöki Sajtóiroda/Benko Vivien Cher