Orbán: Our Zelensky was executed after 1956

October 14. 2022. – 09:01 AM



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Every Friday, Hungary’s prime minister gives an interview on one of the state-owned radio stations. Since the independent media has not had a chance to interview him for many years, these weekly radio interviews are the only opportunity to find out what the leader of the country thinks about current events, how he sees his opponents and any issues at hand. Below are the two main subjects he focused on this week.

On why Hungarians understand Ukrainians

Some want to win the war between Russia and Ukraine, others want an immediate ceasefire and peace talks. Hungary belongs to the latter group, according to Viktor Orbán.

"There's no need to explain the brutality of the Soviet army coming from the East to Hungarians, nor what it must be like to fight the Russians now," the prime minister said in response to criticism about why Hungary, which he said was a freedom fighter, is now on the side of peace.

"Our Zelensky, the Hungarian prime minister at the time, was executed after 1956. We know what brutality is and what war is"

- Orbán said. He added that In 1956, Hungarians did not fight to defeat the Soviet army. They started a revolution to force a ceasefire and peace negotiations.

According to our experience from 1956, the struggle for freedom and peace negotiations go hand in hand, according to the prime minister. He said that the Soviet army could not be defeated in 1956 either, which was why Hungarians wanted to achieve peace negotiations.

On why the “Brussels sanctions” are a mistake

"Brussels' sanctions have failed", he said. When it comes to the energy sector, sanctions are usually imposed by those who have abundant energy. Here, the dwarf imposed sanctions on the giant, he said.

We now have this inflation due to the sanctions and we are now paying a sanctions surcharge for energy.

- Orbán said.

Orbán said that he is preparing for a cutthroat battle in Brussels in order to exempt Hungary from sanctions. They have so far managed to achieve exemption from all sanctions that would have a negative impact on Hungary's energy sector.

If prices go up in Europe, they will drag Hungarian prices up with them. The ultimate solution, therefore, would be for Brussels to lift the sanctions, Orbán said. The sanctions are renegotiated every six months, with the next battle coming in December.

In Prague he saw that many are already unhappy about the Brussels sanctions, and Hungary is not the only one to question the point of sanctions if they are hurting those who impose them more than those who are subject to them. The whole package of sanctions is put together in such a way that Europeans can only lose.

According to Orbán, high inflation is not caused by the market, but by politics, by the "Brussels sanctions". If the bureaucrats in Brussels had been more careful, inflation would not be so high today, Orbán continued.

The prime minister has asked the governor of the Central Bank and instructed the finance minister to at least halve inflation by the end of next year and to eventually reduce it to 1%. The sanctions were not introduced in a democratic way: they were decided on by the Brussels bureaucrats and the European elite.

But Orbán believes that "what people think matters". That is why the Hungarian government is launching a national consultation on sanctions.

Viktor Orbán avoids critical questions at home. It’s been years since he gave an interview to independent media. However, for years, every Friday morning he has been a regular guest on state-owned Kossuth Rádió, where he is interviewed by a leading editor of the public broadcasting service (operating from an annual budget of 320 millions of euros). Katalin Nagy has been almost exclusively the only person to be allowed to interview Orbán on the state-owned channel throughout his third term with a two-thirds majority in parliament. She has received the state decoration of the Cross of the Order of Merit of Hungary and doesn’t shy away from asking questions.

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The translation of this article was made possible by our cooperation with the Heinrich Böll Foundation.