PM Orbán discusses political alliances, war threats, and sovereignty in an interview with Mandiner

In a comprehensive interview with the conservative weekly Mandiner, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán delved into various pressing issues, from political alliances and war threats to European sovereignty and Hungary's strategic interests.

Political alliance with Robert Fico

Prime Minister Orbán began by addressing the recent assassination attempt on his political ally, Robert Fico. "I have a special relationship with Fico, who has transformed from an anti-Hungarian politician to a sovereigntist. Slovakia needs the Hungarian minority to maintain its sovereignty," PM Orbán explained. He emphasized the strategic importance of the Slovak-Hungarian cooperation for both nations.

When asked about the potential for similar attacks in Hungary, the prime minister acknowledged the danger, citing the intense campaign against Fico for his peace-oriented policies. "When war supporters feel morally justified to kill a prime minister, it becomes a serious threat," he warned.

War and NATO involvement

Discussing the escalating war in Ukraine, Prime Minister Orbán criticized the notion of European countries getting dragged into the conflict. "The Ukrainians believe involving more countries in their war against Russia increases their chances of victory. However, for Hungarians, it is crucial to stay out of the war as it contradicts our national interests," he stated.

PM Orbán highlighted the perilous implications of Macron's statements about sending troops to Ukraine, emphasizing the need to prevent the war from spreading. "If a major European war breaks out, we will all lose," he asserted.

European nuclear weapons and conscription

Responding to Manfred Weber's suggestion of a European nuclear arsenal, PM Orbán recommended reading Klaus von Dohnanyi's "National Interests." "Europe has no substantial nuclear arsenal, only American ones. If a nuclear war between Russia and the US ever happens, Europe would be the battlefield," he explained, advocating for nuclear disarmament instead.

Regarding conscription, the prime minister dismissed the idea of reinstating it in Hungary, noting that NATO guarantees collective defense. "We maintain a professional army that we respect and appreciate. Conscription is not on our agenda," he confirmed.

European army and sovereignty

PM Orbán expressed strong opposition to Weber's proposal for a European conscription-based imperial army. "The idea of Hungarian soldiers serving in a conscription-based imperial army is chilling. We need an independent Hungarian army under our control," he declared.

He distinguished his vision of European defense cooperation from Weber's, advocating for coordinated national defense industries and voluntary contributions rather than mandatory conscription. "Any offered units should only be used for defending Europe," he emphasized.

European Parliamentary elections

Discussing the upcoming European elections, PM Orbán underscored their significance for determining the balance between war and peace supporters in the European Parliament. "The key question will be the number of pro-war versus pro-peace representatives," he noted, stressing the importance of resisting NATO's out-of-area operations.

Ursula von der Leyen and European leadership

Addressing Ursula von der Leyen's potential re-election as European Commission President, Prime Minister Orbán criticized her leadership style. "We need a Commission President who understands that we, the 27 prime ministers, are their employers. Von der Leyen has been caught between being a politician and a bureaucrat, which has caused problems," he argued.

NATO leadership and Mark Rutte

PM Orbán opposed Mark Rutte's candidacy for NATO Secretary-General, citing his past statements against Hungary. "Rutte said Hungary should be excluded from the EU and brought to its knees. Such statements make it hard for him to gain our support," he explained. PM Orbán also emphasized Hungary's requirement for a NATO leader who respects Hungary's decision to not participate in operations outside NATO territory.

Relations with China

Highlighting Hungary's balanced foreign policy, PM Orbán detailed the rationale behind strengthening ties with China. "Our goal is to have as many friends as possible. We seek good relations with both the US and China," he said. He stressed the importance of adopting the best technologies, regardless of their origin, to enhance Hungary's competitiveness.

Donald Trump and US relations

On his relationship with Donald Trump, Prime Minister Orbán expressed optimism about future US-Hungarian relations if Trump returns to office. "Trump promised the best Hungarian-American relations ever if he comes back," PM Orbán shared, contrasting this with the current administration's unfavorable policies, such as the double taxation agreement cancellation.

Hungarian domestic politics and future elections

Looking ahead to the European parliamentary and local elections, Prime Minister Orbán emphasized the critical importance of these votes. "The stakes are clear: war or peace. We are very strong and will win if we mobilize our forces," he asserted.

Addressing the fragmented opposition in Hungary, PM Orbán noted that past attempts at unified fronts failed, leading to Fidesz's victories. "Our main adversary is complacency. Victory requires effort, passion, and engagement with the people," he concluded.