Hungary and Poland are calling on the European Commission to make arrangements to ensure that the two countries could receive the allocations they are entitled to from the EU Reconstruction Fund, President Katalin Novák said on Tuesday after meeting her Polish counterpart Andrzej Duda in Warsaw.
“It is in Hungary’s fundamental interest that the country should increase its sovereignty and independence from Russia in terms of energy supplies as well, but this requires access to resources,” she said at a joint press conference held with Duda.
Novák noted Hungary’s dependence on Russian energy, saying that this is why “we are in a more difficult situation than most other EU member states”. She said that Hungary had however voted in support of the five previous EU packages of sanctions against Russia and expressed thanks to Duda, adding that she would appreciate his help for Hungary to represent its interests in connection with the EU’s proposed sixth package of sanctions.
Novák said that making Poland the destination of her first international visit in the capacity as Hungary’s new president was not primarily a diplomatic move but an “obvious choice, resulting from our thousand-year friendship and the fact that Poles and Hungarians still stand close to each other in terms of their values”.
“We both stand on similar footing, Christian conviction, faith, the protection of traditional families and national interests are important to us,” she said.
Hungary and Poland could always rely on each other and “we will not allow anyone to drive a wedge between us”, Novák said.
Young people setting up family and having children would be in the focus of talks had it been a peaceful time, but a war was started by Russia in a common neighbour country, Ukraine, 83 days ago, she said. Novák said Hungary condemned the aggression of Russian President Vladimir Putin attacking a sovereign state and she presented ten points which she said were Hungary’s responses.
“We forever say no to every effort aiming at the restoration of the Soviet Union and we want peace here in Hungary and also in neighbouring countries,” she said. “This is not our war but it is also being fought against us, peaceloving Hungarians who want security and growth,” she added. She said Hungary demanded an inquiry into war crimes and their punishment. “Hungary is not neutral, but stands on the side of innocent victims and justice,” she added.
Novák said Hungary supported Ukraine’s accession to the community of European countries and was ready to make sacrifice for peace but “we will not approve decisions that demand more sacrifice from Hungarian people than the pain they cause to Russian aggressors”, she added. She said Hungary was ready to act as an intermediator between the sides at war, to assist in the continuation of peace talks.
“We insist on the rights of ethnic Hungarians living in Ukraine now and we will insist on them also after the war,” she said.
Novák said Hungary and Poland faced similar difficulties after the war broke out, receiving a flow of refugees, but both countries deserve “excellent marks” for demonstrating humanity.
The Hungarian president offered 5 million forints (EUR 13,000) from her presidential budget to the Nazareth Primary and High School to help the school in supporting children arriving as refugees from Ukraine.
Novák after the talks laid a wreath at the statue of President Lech Kaczynski at Pilsudski Square. She afterwards paid tribute at the tree planted in honour of Emánuel Aladár Korompay, a Hungarian victim of the Katyn massacre, in the garden of the Nazareth school.
Featured photo by Noémi Bruzák/MTI