Viktor Orban: Hungary will continue to trade with Russia, because this is not our war

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Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán delivered his annual hour-long address to his fellow citizens on Saturday, half of which was devoted to Russia’s full-scale war against Ukraine and why Budapest disagrees with sanctions and military aid to Kyiv.

Orbán emphasized that 2023 will be, in his opinion, the most dangerous year since the fall of communism due to the threat of war and inflation. He added that the only way for Hungary to guarantee a peaceful life is to “stay away from the Russian-Ukrainian war.”

“We are part of the Western world, members of NATO and the European Union, and everyone there is on the side of war, or at least pretends to be, except us,” Orban said, adding that the war in Ukraine is “not of the army of good and evil, and the armies of two Slavic countries, which are waging a war, limited in time and, for the time being, in space.”

“This is their war, not ours,” said the Hungarian Prime Minister, adding that Hungary recognizes Ukraine’s right to self-defense, but it would be wrong to put the interests of Ukraine above the interests of Hungary.

Orbán added that humanitarian aid to Ukraine does not mean severing Hungary’s ties with Russia. “We will maintain our economic relations with Russia, and we advise the entire Western world to do the same, because without relations there will be no ceasefire, no peace talks,” he said.

Separately, in his speech, the Prime Minister of Hungary focused on the West’s reaction to the war in Ukraine. He believes that “Europe is headed for war, balancing on a thin line and is actually already in a state of indirect war with Russia”, and NATO will allegedly soon discuss the introduction of “so-called peacekeeping troops” into Ukraine.

The Hungarian Prime Minister believes that the full-scale war in Ukraine happened because the West allowed it. As an example, he cited the Russian-Georgian war of 2008, which was “localized” after the occupation of 20% of the territory of Georgia, and the events of 2014, when France and Germany “made a choice in favor of negotiations, not war.”

According to Orbán, what happened is another argument against the “Brussels superpower” and in favor of strong national states: they say that when decisions were made by EU member states, peace was achieved, and the “imperial center” started a war.

Separately, the Prime Minister of Hungary nevertheless admitted that, despite differences in opinion, he understands the position of “our Polish and Baltic friends” regarding the war in Ukraine. “But the others?” he asked.

It should be noted that last month, at a meeting with journalists in Budapest, Viktor Orban stated that Russia’s goal is to turn Ukraine into an ungovernable ruin, so that the West cannot claim it “as a prize”, and Ukraine, like Afghanistan, is now a “no man’s land”. . After that, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine summoned the Hungarian ambassador for an explanation.

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