Orbán: Begrudgingly and unwillingly, but Hungary admits Ukraine needs to be supported

December 02. 2022. – 09:17 AM



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Most Friday mornings, 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 several 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. This is a summary of the most important points from this week's interview.

On expensive gas from from the US

Orbán said that in Europe, there is a pro-war camp working on maintaining the sanctions against Russia, but Hungary is in favour of an immediate ceasefire and peace. Europe renegotiates the sanctions every six months. We need to have a very thorough discussion about them the next time, he suggested.

"Earlier, French President Macron also said that energy from the US is very expensive. It's not friendship on the part of the Americans if they give us gas at four times the price they pay for it at home", Orbán said.

According to him, Europe has cut itself off from Russian energy, it has completely changed everything. There is a whole new structure being created, but what exactly the new European economic model will look like is still unknown.

On the European Commission's recommendation to withhold funds from Hungary

"Obviously, there are political reasons why the European Commission is not giving us the funds. They didn't give the money to the country, but they “wheeled the dollars to the left”,

Orbán said. He added that this happened even though we made 17 commitments to the Commission, and “an army of people had worked to get us into a good position”. The Prime Minister thanked all those who were involved.

“They are being unfair to Hungary, there are always new conditions, but we must strive for a solution. They want us to let migrants in, but we won't do that, they want us to let sexual propaganda into schools, but we won't do that either, and we won't support sanctions, but anything other than these issues can be agreed upon.”

On financial help for Ukraine

"Although begrudgingly and unwillingly, but Hungary admits that Ukraine needs to be supported",

Orbán said. “However, we do not support a joint EU loan for this purpose, because we do not want the EU to become a community of indebted states. We do not want to see it go from a community of states and become a community of indebted states. Hungary usually doesn't find itself in a situation where it cannot repay its debts, this happens to other countries”, he continued.

The Prime Minister concluded by saying: "We should divide the cost of supporting Ukraine among each other, and let each country pay for it from its own budget. We have set aside the necessary money and we will give it to Ukraine in 2023."

On the pressure of migration

Migration is less on the agenda now because of the energy crisis, even though the situation is getting worse. Historically speaking, migration remains the biggest challenge. European leaders want to let migrants into Hungary, they want to oblige us to do so. The EU leaders and the Hungarian “dollar left” agree on this. This may be a more hidden problem in these times of an economic crisis, but we must not forget about it.

Viktor Orbán avoids critical questions at home. It’s been years since he gave an interview to independent media. However, for years, most Friday mornings 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 allowed to interview Orbán on the state-owned channel throughout his third and fourth 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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