PM Orbán: We need a ceasefire and peace talks as soon as possible

In his regular Friday morning interview with Kossuth Rádió, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán stated that the idea of sending peacekeepers or some kind of military troops to Ukraine is a logical step in the West’s drift towards getting directly involved in the war. However, according to PM Orbán, a cease-fire is needed as soon as possible. He also spoke about curbing inflation and putting in place Europe’s strictest child protection regime in Hungary.

“In a war, when there is confusion about the objectives of the war, it is very easy to get lost. And in the case of the Russian-Ukrainian war, it is not clear from either side what the war goals are,” Prime Minister Viktor Orbán said this morning on Kossuth Radio's program "Good Morning, Hungary!”

According to the prime minister, this also applies to Ukraine, which is of course defending its freedom, but it is not clear what this means. “Will they launch military strikes on Russian territory, and how far do they want to push back Russian troops? Will Crimea be under siege or not?” the prime minister asked.

In PM Orbán’s view, the current situation is exactly what Hungarians have feared: there will be many casualties, the war situation will not get any easier, the objectives will remain unclear, and we Europeans will keep drifting into war.

“It's quite obvious that if I add up the military-industrial expenditure of the European NATO member states in a given year, it's orders of magnitudes higher than Russia’s. And if I add to that America's, which is the biggest spender in the world, it exceeds everybody's, China's, everybody's, and even the next in line after that, so the realities are clear. There is no one in the world today, not just the Russians, no one who has a chance of succeeding by attacking NATO,” PM Orbán said.

According to him, Russia “cannot win this war,” although it is unclear what “winning the war exactly means.” The West is mobilizing so much in terms of arms and energy and money behind Ukraine, he said, that winning an open military conflict against such a force is unlikely by human calculations. “And the reverse is also true. So if anyone thinks that Russia can be beaten when Russia is a nuclear power, I think they are wrong,” the PM said.

Referring to the differences in how the war is viewed in the EU and the United Nations, Prime Minister Orbán said that based on last night’s debate in the UN General Assembly about the war in Ukraine, “it is clear that most countries are saying exactly the same as Hungary: Let there be a cease-fire, let the parties talk to each other and negotiate.

“But the most important thing is that no more people should die and other countries should not be threatened by the horror, the risk, the danger of being drawn into this war against their will,” the prime minister said.

Regarding Sweden and Finland's accession to NATO, PM Orbán spoke first of Turkey. He said that we must hear their voice, the Turkish position, because they have serious objections, especially as far as Sweden is concerned. In Sweden, there are organizations that call themselves NGOs that are working against Turkey, which are, according to the Turkish interpretation, terrorist organizations, and Turkey does not want to see such a country in NATO.

At the same time, PM Orbán continued, Hungary is not a founding NATO member, so we have also been admitted once. “We could have been rejected, but we were accepted. I think that this gives Hungary a kind of moral obligation: If someone wants to join NATO, and from a Hungarian point of view this is not a matter of any great disinterest, there is no significant loss to Hungary, then if they want to, we should take them on board, just as we were taken on board,” the prime minister said.

He said that he had asked his Fidesz-KDNP group to support the Finnish and Swedish membership of NATO so that the government could submit a proposal to parliament for a vote by MPs.

PM Orbán also said that the European sanctions regime immediately caused serious problems for Hungary — we said this a year ago, the prime minister said. The best example of this is oil and gas, he said, adding that it is in our well-understood national interest that the sanctions regime should not extend to nuclear energy.

“The EU member states are in different situations. Some have their own energy and energy sources, others do not. Some have access to the sea, some do not. Those who have neither energy nor sea and have to import energy can only import it by pipeline. The pipe is fed in at one end, it is fed out at the other. And since Hungary has pipes with one end in Russia, a sanction on Russia in the field of energy would kill the Hungarian economy in an instant,” PM Orbán explained.

The sanctions regime alone has raised energy prices by HUF 4 trillion, he said.

The speculators have made outrageous profits, and we hope there was no collusion between them and the Brussels bureaucrats.

The government has taken 20 measures against Hungarian inflation, he added. He is confident that price increases will start to fall from March, and inflation will be in the single digits by December.

Commenting on the sex scandals of recent weeks, Viktor Orbán said Hungarians are family-oriented and children play an important role in our country. It is also our job as adults to protect children, and parents have a responsibility here, the prime minister added.

There is work to be done in this matter and questions need to be asked about where school leaders and state leaders have been.

PM Orbán said that he wants very clear answers to his questions and does not want these matters swept under the carpet. Gender ideology is not a joke; it is a danger, and the state has a duty. There must be the strictest child protection law in place in Hungary, he said in closing.