Speaking at the inauguration of the Belgrade-Novi Sad rail line on Saturday, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán said the friendship between Hungarians and Serbs has never been as close as now. “We will implement all our great plans together with your president, despite the difficult circumstances,” PM Orbán said after arriving by train in Novi Sad with Serbian President Aleksandar Vučić.
The talks, at which Foreign Minister Peter Szijjártó also participated, focused on the Russia-Ukraine war, Europe’s security situation, the Western Balkans’ perspectives for European Union membership and current issues concerning cooperation between Hungary and Serbia. PM Orbán and Vučić stated that both Hungary and Serbia want peace. “It is in the interest of our countries to stay out of the war because economic development is impossible in a war”, they said.
The prime minister said that the war in Ukraine has “come at the worst possible time”, presenting “a serious challenge, because we have developed so well, we have started with such great momentum and we still have so many good plans ahead of us”. He added that the war is felt “by everyone here in our hearts and minds”. PM Orbán said the world has become uncertain, and Serbs and Hungarians must rethink a number of things. “I hope that President Vučić and I will play a role in this rethink” after the upcoming elections, he added. PM Orbán said the rail line – part of an upgrade of the Belgrade-Budapest line – would “make life easier for Serbs and Hungarians” and pledged that the entire stretch would be operational by 2025.
Vučić thanked PM Orbán for Hungary’s support in Brussels adding that “our Hungarian friends” have “raised a voice” in defence of Serbia in Brussels, while others remain silent.