Following talks with his Czech counterpart Andrej Babiš on Wednesday, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán said a new, massive wave of migrants could not be avoided with millions of people leaving Afghanistan. The prime minister said many of them will choose a route through the Balkans and Hungary, adding that Hungary would continue to protect its own borders, as it will also protect Europe.
According to MTI, the prime minister said that the western countries are unable or unwilling to protect their boundaries, and let migrants in without any control. Later on, however, they complain about all migrants staying on their territory and call for distributing them. But this is a wrong approach. All countries should defend their borders and if they are unable to, then they should ask for assistance,” he said.
PM Orbán reiterated that Hungary rejected the compulsory migrant quotas and welcomed that the Czech Republic shared its position. PM Babiš said the Czech Republic owed it to Hungary that there are no illegal migrants in the country today. “In 2015, Hungary was the only EU member state to protect the bloc’s Schengen borders. Thanks to the fence Hungary then erected at its border, the Czech Republic today does not have to struggle with the problem of illegal migration," he said.
Touching upon Czech-Hungarian economic cooperation, PM Orbán noted that it had reached record levels. The volume of bilateral trade this year has gone up by 26 percent, Hungary has currently 330 Czech companies as foreign investors employing several thousands of people, he said, adding plans for Hungary to extend cooperation in the areas of telcom, agriculture, energy and defense. Hungary is ready to work in close, friendly cooperation with the government of Andrej Babiš based on mutual respect in future, PM Orbán said.
PM Orbán also highlighted that the gas purchase agreement Hungary signed with Russia earlier this week is a matter of Hungary’s sovereignty, and Ukraine has nothing to do with it. Hungary is a sovereign state and will purchase gas from whichever country it chooses. “It is up to us alone to decide which route we use to bring this energy to Hungary,” he said, adding that in selecting the route the only criteria is that it should provide the greatest security. “We wish that the Ukrainians should cope with their own problems and leave us out of it,” PM Orbán said.
“We, central Europeans are destined to success and will prosper if we are allowed to. We do not ask for extra assistance but fair treatment,” he said. It is unfair, however, that eight member states haven’t yet got access to the post-pandemic recovery fund the EU decided to grant to each country, PM Orbán said. “This is not a matter of money but lack of equal terms in competition,” he said.