Katalin Novak - Photo: Facebook

Novak’s talks with Slovenia president: ‘We won’t send our sons and husbands to battlefield’

Hungary and Slovenia continue to nurture and build good relations, President Katalin Novak said after meeting Slovenian counterpart Natasa Pirc Musar in Budapest on Wednesday.

Novak noted that Hungary is Pirc Musar’s first official port of call after her election, and their talks focused on the war in Ukraine, prospects for the European integration of the Western Balkans, as well as bilateral cooperation, national minorities and demographics, she added.

Pirc Musar and Novak agreed on condemning Russian aggression in Ukraine and finding a quick route to peace, and seeking allies to achieve this. Peace in the region and Europe “is at stake,” she said.

Ukraine should not be “encouraged to harbour irrational expectations regarding the aid they get: we won’t send our sons and husbands onto the battlefield,” she said.

Meanwhile, Ukraine’s Transcarpathia region is home to 150,000 Hungarians fighting to restore their acquired rights, she said. If Ukraine aspires to become a European country, it should live up to European standards, she added. At the same time, Hungary has accepted and aided some 1.5 million refugees since the start of the war, she added.

Novak also said the situation of minorities was “exemplary” in Hungary and Slovenia, and “set an example for how to support and honour minority citizens”.

The EU has an interest in the integration of the Western Balkans, and the process should be speeded up, she added.

Meanwhile, Hungary is working to curb its dependency on Russian energy, and counts on Slovenian support in this, she said.

Novak also invited Pirc Musar to a demographics summit in Budapest in September, saying that challenges in the field had an impact on Europe as a whole.

Responding to a question, Novak said noted she would receive Pope Francis in her office in the Sandor Palace next week, and they would together pray for peace in Ukraine.

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