PM Orbán: Hungary will decide its own fate, not Brussels

PM Viktor Orbán rejects Manfred Weber's EU-wide conscription plan, emphasizing Hungary's right to decide its own defense policies. As the EU inches closer to war, PM Orbán stresses the need for peace-focused leadership in the upcoming elections.

Prime Minister Viktor Orbán, in an interview this morning on Kossuth Radio's "Good Morning, Hungary!" program, strongly opposed the idea of reinstating conscription across the European Union, as proposed by Manfred Weber, the president of the European People's Party. PM Orbán emphasized the importance of national sovereignty in defense matters, underscoring that each country must independently decide how to protect itself.

"We had a thought 30 years ago, after the end of the Cold War, that constant readiness, realized through conscription, was no longer necessary," PM Orbán remarked. He acknowledged the value of military personnel, stating that soldiers are among the most useful and respectable members of society. However, he firmly declared that conscription is not currently on Hungary's agenda.

PM Orbán called Weber’s plan unacceptable. "It would mean that someone else could decide about the blood of Hungarians," he stated. "Such thoughts should be quickly dismissed; the seed must be removed from the soil before it can sprout."

The prime minister highlighted the increasing proximity to war each week, noting two significant developments: ongoing negotiations between France and Ukraine regarding the deployment of French military training personnel to Ukraine, and the growing acceptance that Western-supplied weapons could be used offensively, not just defensively. "Without NATO, Ukraine wouldn't be able to strike Russian territory. This indicates another step towards deeper involvement," PM Orbán pointed out.

He reiterated that Russia attacked Ukraine because of its NATO aspirations. The Russians have made it clear that the more powerful the weapons used against them, the further they will advance into Ukraine. "We are inching closer to destruction," he warned, explaining that a war's progression follows three phases: rhetoric, preparation, and destruction. "We are past the rhetoric and are now in the preparation stage, just inches from destruction."

Reflecting on Hungary's involvement in both World Wars, PM Orbán noted that immense pressure was exerted on Hungary during these conflicts, as evidenced by the correspondence between Horthy and Hitler. He warned that a similar situation is developing today, with increasing pressure at every EU summit. "We must resist because we do not want to spill Hungarian blood for Ukraine. Our primary concern is Hungarian interests, and this war is not being fought in our interest," he said.

The prime minister emphasized the defensive nature of NATO, stressing that it was not established to intervene in conflicts outside NATO territory. "It's absurd," he stated.

PM Orbán said that European nations are becoming increasingly involved in the conflict, largely because they are geographically distant from Russia and feel a false sense of security. He noted that France, from its position on the shores of the Atlantic, views Ukraine and Central Europe as buffer zones, much as it did in the past. "Their sense of security is much stronger; they have won wars and now want to defeat Russia," he added.

Looking ahead to the upcoming elections, the prime minister underscored the importance of prioritizing peace. "If leaders decide that peace is more important, then there will be no war," he said. He emphasized the need to elect peace-oriented leaders to the European Parliament to steer away from the warpath. "Today in Hungary, only Fidesz and KDNP stand for peace. If we want peace, we must send them to the EP," he urged.

PM Orbán noted the moral pressure placed on people at the onset of every war, making them believe that not supporting the war is morally wrong. "History is there to teach us, and we should learn from it to avoid the mistakes of the past," he said. He argued that those aiming to win this war militarily are only setting themselves up for further conflict, potentially leading to a world war. Instead, he advocated for regaining the initiative and achieving a ceasefire.

Concluding with a final remark on the upcoming elections, PM Viktor Orbán said, "When we look back on this election, we might say this was the point when the trouble began. But this is not inevitable. Europe is still a democracy, and we must send peace advocates to represent us."