Hungary will stay out of Ukraine war

by Cristian Florescu

Hungary will not send any weapons to Ukraine and will stay out of the war, Prime Minister Viktor Orban told a rally of his supporters on Tuesday, accusing the opposition of trying to drag Hungary into the conflict on its eastern border, writes Reuters

The conservative nationalist leader has a tight race for election to a fourth consecutive term on April 3 because for the first time since 2010 his right-wing Fidesz party will face a united front of six opposition parties.

Orban’s path to re-election is complicated by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, which has put his decade-long close relations with Russian President Vladimir Putin in a new light, drawing sharp criticism from the opposition.

Addressing a rally of tens of thousands of supporters who waved the Hungarian national flag in front of parliament, Orban said Central Europe was only a “chessboard” for big powers and if Hungary did not stand up for its interests, it could easily fall victim to the crisis.

“Russia looks at Russian interests, while Ukraine looks at Ukrainian interests. Neither the United States nor Brussels would think with Hungarians’ minds and feel with Hungarians’ hearts. We must stand up for our own interests,” Orban said.

“We must stay out of this war … therefore we will not send any troops or weapons to the battlegrounds.”

Orban said the choice for voters on April 3 will be between his party that wants peace and the leftist opposition “which would stagger into a ruthless, protracted and bloody war.”

“We only have one choice: we must choose Europe instead of the east … and freedom instead of authoritarianism,” he said, with supporters chanting “Europa, Europa.”

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