In an interview with public news channel M1 on Thursday, Hungarian President Katalin Novák said that it is in the best interest of Hungarians living in Transcarpathia to be able to still live in their homeland in a hundred years and to live a truly Hungarian life there. Talking about the war in Ukraine, she said it is “absolutely essential” that the war in Ukraine ends as soon as possible, and the conflict must be prevented from escalating.
This article was originally published on our sister-site, Ungarn Heute.
Referring to ethnic Hungarians in Ukraine, Katalin Novák said on the program 48 Minutes that Transcarpathian Hungarians “should not only exist in their homeland in a hundred years’ time but Hungarian life there should thrive.” Those who have been forced to leave should be helped return and allowed to use their mother tongue, she said.
Concerning the war itself, Novák said it has been going on for more than 100 days now, and it is “shocking” to see its “daily terrors,” but on the other hand it is also possible to witness “selfless help and acceptance even in this trying situation.”
It is “absolutely essential” that the war in Ukraine ends as soon as possible, and the conflict must be prevented from escalating, Novák said.
Novák added that Russia has not defined a real war goal, and President Putin does not even call his operations a war. Therefore, no one can predict how the conflict will develop.
According to the President, what happens in Hungary has an impact beyond our borders, and likewise what happens outside our borders has an impact on us.
It is only natural, she said, that the fact that the country has survived a long-lasting coronavirus epidemic, that there is war in the neighborhood, that the economic situation is more difficult than it used to be, and that people around the world are facing challenges, leads to an aggravation of the political atmosphere.
The President suggested that she would follow the practices of János Áder, her predecessor, and “sign a hundred laws if they are good and reject a hundred others if they are bad.” “I will decide based on my best conscience,” she said, adding that the goal was not to “survive a five-year mandate without conflicts with anybody.”
On another subject, Novák said democracy was a way for people to promote their will, and “if people express their will in a democratic way and they make a decision, that must then be taken as directions.”
“I can often see that many will take offense and be angry with others because they have made a different decision, and consider the process anti-democratic because people have not chosen their position.” “Not everyone in Europe or in Hungary is doing especially well as far as acceptance is concerned, and they tend to declare something anti-democratic just because they don’t like it,” she said.
Concerning the European Union, Novák said Brussels had “grown to be a hydrocephalus” which is “primarily interested in maintaining and further reinforcing itself in many cases to the detriment of good decision-making.” In the EU it was “sovereign nation-states that decided to coordinate their interests and movements in certain areas, but they must not be stripped of their sovereignty or their national character, she added.
Featured image via Szilárd Koszticsák/MTI