PM Orbán: We’re centimeters away from war

Prime Minister Viktor Orbán emphasized the critical stakes of the upcoming EP elections in an interview with TV2's Tények, warning that Europe is dangerously close to war and underscoring Hungary's commitment to peace and strategic national interests.

PM Orbán stressed that the upcoming European Parliament elections are crucial in determining the trajectory of the ongoing conflict in Ukraine. "We’re centimeters away from war," he warned, highlighting the dangerous brinkmanship of Western powers.

"When the war began, the German chancellor said they would only send helmets, and now we see German tanks and Western fighter jets in Ukraine. We are centimeters away from Western or American troops appearing on Ukrainian soil," he recounted.

The prime minister emphasized the necessity of sending peace-oriented representatives to Brussels to prevent further escalation. "We are in the last moments to reverse this war march. To stop this war train, we need change in Brussels and, subsequently, in Washington. We must elect peace-oriented representatives to the European Parliament," he said.

PM Orbán criticized the Western and American approach to the Ukraine conflict, suggesting that their leaders are intent on escalating the war. "They believe Russia can be defeated militarily. They are determined to walk into a direct military confrontation with Russia," he said. The prime minister contrasted this with Hungary's stance: "We do not want war; they do."

He also touched on the potential reinstatement of conscription in Hungary, which he firmly opposes. "I trust that we can provide young people with the skills for national defense without reintroducing conscription. Under no circumstances will we allow Hungarian youth to be conscripted into another army where we lose control over their lives."

PM Orbán expressed concern over NATO's actions and emphasized Hungary's intention to stay out of any external military actions. "Next week, after the elections, we will discuss this with the NATO secretary general, and a NATO summit will follow in July. We must ensure Hungary remains out of any military actions beyond its borders," he asserted.

The prime minister reiterated that Hungary’s participation in NATO should strictly adhere to defensive actions within member territories, not extend to operations in third countries. "NATO is a defense alliance, not for conducting operations outside member territories," he said.

Turning to economic and strategic matters, PM Orbán highlighted the recent acquisition of the Liszt Ferenc International Airport, describing it as a significant national achievement. "We have fought long for this. The airport is better in Hungarian hands than foreign ones. This was a necessary step to ensure its development and success," he explained.

He noted the involvement of top French airport management experts in operating the airport, indicating a bright future for the facility under Hungarian majority ownership. "The airport has a bright future, with the right management and strategic oversight."

Addressing the local elections, which will take place at the same time as the EP elections, PM Orbán underscored the importance of electing capable local leaders. "Good leaders are essential for the development of our towns and villages. We must choose wisely to ensure our communities thrive," he urged.

Reflecting on Alexandra Szentkirályi’s withdrawal from the Budapest mayoral race, he stated, "She convinced me it was the right decision. I trust her judgment, and we accepted her decision."

PM Orbán concluded with a hopeful outlook, contingent on strong electoral support for peace-oriented candidates. "If the Hungarian people stand for peace, the government can keep Hungary out of the war. Strength comes from the people’s support," he said.

As Hungary approaches the pivotal elections this weekend, the prime minister’s message is clear: The choices made at the ballot box will significantly impact Hungary’s future direction, in terms of both peace and governance.

Watch the interview here.