He said Hungary had already lost around 200 citizens who had died at the front as conscripted soldiers.
The Prime Minister said it was a serious problem that in contrast to the conflict in Crimea, the present conflict had not been successfully isolated. At the time of the Russian attack against Crimea in 2014, it was possible to avoid a severe international crisis because the Germans, led by then German Chancellor Angela Merkel, initiated immediate talks, he stated.
Mr Orbán said it was a mistake that while he had been on a peace mission, visiting Russian President Vladimir Putin before the war, on the western side no one had felt the need for talks, despite the fact that after his visit to Moscow, he had immediately informed the NATO Secretary General, among others, about the threat in the making.
The Prime Minister said, in the context of the conflict in Ukraine, he primarily focuses on the Hungarian interests as the country is situated within the immediate range of the war in Ukraine, and due to this, it feels strongly threatened. He said while Hungary is doing everything it can in the interest of peace, it is not prepared to help the Ukrainians by destroying the Hungarians in doing so.
He took the view that the international discourse focuses too much on Putin. He added that he was not interested in Putin at all, “I’m interested in Hungary and Europe, in what consequences the war has for us”.
He also made it clear that the Hungarian government thinks about the war what the EU says about it: this is an act of aggression as Russia violated international law.
The Prime Minister – who was asked primarily by the heads of leading media outlets – further highlighted that a ceasefire should be reached not between Ukraine and Russia, but between the United States and Russia; based on the realities of power, negotiations must be conducted with the Americans. He took the view that resources constitute the essence of the war, and while the Russians have almost unlimited resources in the fields of energy, soldiers and human resources, Ukraine only has sufficient resources because it is being helped by the West and the United States.
The Prime Minister said US President Joe Biden had gone too far when he had called Russian head of state Vladimir Putin a war criminal or mass murderer, among others. Therefore, in his view, former US President Donald Trump is the hope of peace.
He also stressed that the conflict in Ukraine had the consequence that “our weakness has been exposed” as several other major international players, including China and India, did not stand with the western community.
In answer to a question, Mr Orbán said at his two-hour-long meeting held with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz on Monday, he offered his negotiating partner tolerance on the issues that the two countries disagree on, including the Hungarian position that rejects migration, is opposed to multiculturalism and insists on the traditional concept of the family. While former Chancellor Angela Merkel consistently rejected this offer, Mr Scholz now listened to it, he pointed out, adding that it is to be hoped that his next official visit to Berlin scheduled in two years’ time – when additionally Hungary will hold the rotating presidency of the Council of the European Union – will bring about further progress.
He took the view that the Hungarian-German friendship is special, and is a good starting point for the further development of bilateral cooperation. Regarding economic relations, he made specific mention of the vehicle industry and the defence industry, and spoke in words of praise about the fact that ever more German researchers are coming to Hungary.
The Prime Minister further highlighted that on the issues of migration, gender, family and national interests there had remained a dividing line in Europe. Those who are situated East of that line think in terms of the traditional family, do not want migration and national pride is the most important driving force. He said it was important to defend this position, and referred to it as a task of the countries comprising the Visegrád Group (V4).
During the course of history, there have always been great powers that wanted to tell us how to live, Mr Orbán stressed. Today – even if amidst democratic circumstances – they still want to tell us what the Hungarian family should be like or what Hungary’s ethnic composition should be like, he added, highlighting that he has fought against this from the very beginning of his political career.
He also spoke about the negative impacts of the United Kingdom’s departure from the European Union: the people of Britain never accepted the concept of a federal Europe, but with their departure, the federalists have found themselves in a majority. He took the view that if Britain had not left the EU, the dynamism that had been experienced in the previous 30 years would have continued.