Máté Kocsis, the ruling party’s group leader, said the parliamentary group of Fidesz and its Christian Democrat ally plan to submit a political declaration to parliament stating Hungary’s commitment to the pursuit of peace in Ukraine.
Kocsis told a press conference after a meeting of the ruling parties at the Lake Balaton resort that Hungary’s position is plain: the country does not want to drift into war. “This is not Hungary’s conflict,” he said. The decision to submit a political declaration to parliament was motivated by the “pressure” the government and country were under, he said, adding that parliament must “adopt a firm and clear position” on the issue. Noting that the war has lasted for a year, and no signs were apparent that it would end anytime soon, he added the conflict had claimed the lives of hundreds of thousands of people and resulted in Europe’s biggest humanitarian crisis of recent times. Europe, he said, was gradually drifting into the war as the European Parliament demanded additional arms deliveries, fighter jets, helicopters, missile systems, tanks and additional ammunition to be sent to the battlefield. Many EU member states have already committed themselves to additional arms shipments, he added. The ruling parties’ seven-point document states Hungary’s commitment to peace, its condemnation of Russia’s military aggression, its recognition of Ukraine’s right to self-defence, its rejection of EU sanctions, and the importance of helping refugees. Further, it noted how the war gravely affects the Transcarpathian Hungarian community, Kocsis added. At the same time, it states that no one can force Hungary to put the interests of any other country before its own, he said. “We are committed members of NATO and the European Union,” he said, adding that as a full member of both organisations and as a sovereign state, Hungary would do everything possible to promote peace. Kocsis said the parties reject EU plans to broaden the range of energy sanctions, adding that it was unacceptable that Europe and Hungary should bear the economic burden of the war. Freezing gas and oil imports and banning nuclear fuel imports would disrupt energy supplies and provoke even higher inflation, he said. The outcomes of the April 2022 general election and the public survey on sanctions were clear, he said. Hungarians want peace talks as soon as possible instead of arms deliveries and they reject additional sanctions, he added.
Meanwhile, Kocsis noted that Fidesz and its Christian Democrat ally have asked the speaker of the Hungarian parliament to send a delegation to Sweden and Finland for coordination talks regarding the NATO membership of the two countries. Prime Minister Viktor Orbán asked the ruling lawmakers to back Sweden and Finland’s membership of the alliance, though opinions on the matter were divided at their meeting in Balatonfüred, in western Hungary, Kocsis noted. “A serious debate developed, with several lawmakers making a point that politicians of Sweden and Finland had crudely and baselessly offended Hungary … over the past few years, and they are now asking a favor,” he said. Kocsis said the move would fall into the course of normal parliamentary proceedings and it would not entail an extension of these. No postponement of the decision by parliament is expected, he added. He said that when the US ambassador to the United Nations informed the UN General Assembly about anti-Semitic crimes, he cited the vandalism of the Wallenberg monument in connection with Hungary when in fact the desecration took place in Sweden. An investigation is needed to establish the facts and whether the accusations are true, he added.
Commenting on Sweden and Finland, he said opinions were expressed that by joining the alliance the NATO aspirants may threaten the war’s escalation. “The Prime Minister’s position is clear, but that of the parliamentary group less so,” he said, adding that this fact, however, would not have a bearing on the accession procedure. In response to a question, he said existing political disputes must be resolved, though “we are essentially committed to maintaining, expanding and strengthening both NATO and the European community.” He said politicians of Sweden and Finland must acknowledge that it was unacceptable to make “insulting statements about a partner country and then ask it for a favor”.
Kocsis said the chance of an immediate ceasefire in Ukraine was “slim”, adding that countries to the west of Hungary were “not working towards” bringing about peace. Regarding statements by the US ambassador to Hungary, Kocsis said: “We will put forward our argument against anyone who wants to drag Hungary into the war. We consider anyone who wants to drag Hungary into the war an opponent.”