PM Orbán in exclusive interview: Now we need ‘strategic calmness’

In an exclusive interview this evening on Hungary’s M1 public TV channel, Prime Minister Orbán reaffirmed his government’s position that it is in Hungary’s best interest that the war ends in our neighborhood as soon as possible.

Kicking off his interview on Hungarian state television, Prime Minister Orbán said that “this is the third war when I happen to be the prime minister of Hungary.” According to the PM, in this war Hungary must follow exactly the same policy as during previous ones: “Hungary must stay out of this armed conflict, we must focus our efforts on achieving this goal.”

“Most importantly, when a war situation develops, there will be confusion, with nervous, rash decisions being made. It is very important that this does not occur in a country that is close to a war zone, like Hungary is now. We call this strategic calmness. That is what is needed now,” PM Orbán said. He added that we must refrain from irresponsible actions and statements, like the ones made by Hungary's left-wing politicians.

Commenting on the influx of refugees along Hungary’s border with Ukraine, PM Orbán said that “everyone fleeing Ukraine will find a friend in the Hungarian state.”

“The rule is to help all refugees coming from the neighboring country because there is a war going on there. No matter why, no matter who is to blame, no matter how it happened — anyone fleeing from there must be helped. This is an elementary, human, Christian instinct for life, and we will act according to this,” the prime minister said.

Responding to the interviewer’s question regarding the sanctions adopted against Russia, PM Orbán said that “I have personally never believed in the benefits of sanctions,” but, according to him, “there is war now, and now is not the time to be smart but to be united.” On the reports in some international media outlets that Hungary was blocking the adoption of sanctions against Russia, the prime minister said that “this is disinformation, to put it politely, fake news, but in Hungarian, lies.”

PM Orbán confirmed that no sanction against Russia will impact Hungarian utility prices “as long as I am prime minister.”

Concluding the interview with a question on whether “Hungarian people have reason to be afraid,” Prime Minister Orbán said that “those who say that this war does not carry risks for Hungary are not telling the truth. We must make the right decisions and stay out of the conflict.”