Plans are in place in case the Russian-Ukrainian conflict reaches the point where masses of refugees start heading for the Hungarian border, the Ministry of Defense (HM) said in response to a question by HVG.
More than 130,000 Transcarpathian Hungarians live in Ukraine.
“…in the event of war, refugees would arrive from Ukraine in the hundreds of thousands, even millions, and this would fundamentally redraw Hungary’s political and economic situation. […] We are working for peace, but of course, the designated state bodies have started preparations. In the event of a war, we also have an appropriate scenario and action plan,” Prime Minister Viktor Orbán said in his annual assessment speech on Saturday.
Following the Prime minister’s speech, liberal HVG turned to the Ministry of Defense to ask, in case of a war, what their action plan is.
The Ministry of Defense has an evacuation plan in place to help Hungarian citizens and, if necessary, citizens of other nations to leave Ukraine,”
they wrote. No further details of the plan were shared. According to HVG, there is a chance that along with Ukrainian citizens, citizens of other countries will also be evacuated via Hungary.
The Ministry of Defense added that security issues related to the Russian-Ukrainian conflict are continuously assessed together with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade.
In the meantime, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán had a telephone conversation with Charles Michel, President of the European Council, regarding the crisis situation on the Russian-Ukrainian border, Bertalan Havasi, Head of the Prime Minister’s Press Office, told MTI.
The two leaders noted that “the situation is deteriorating,” but agreed that diplomatic efforts should be continued to find a peaceful solution to the conflict. They said that dialogue was necessary, as avoiding war was in the interest of all of Europe, including Hungary. In a recent interview for Euronews, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Péter Szijjártó, also emphasized the importance of diplomacy and dialogue.
Featured image: Combat vehicles retreating from a training ground in the Voronezh region on February 15, 2022. Photo via MTI/EPA/Ministry of Defence of the Russian Federation’s press service