Prime Minister Viktor Orbán - Photo: PMO

Orbán: Election to ‘decide between war, peace’

The European parliamentary elections, along with the presidential election in the US in November, will decide between peace and war, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán told public radio on Friday.

Orbán said the assassination attempt against Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico was “not unprecedented” and referred to the murder of Serbian PM Zoran Djindjic in 2003. “This part of Europe is a lot riskier hunting ground than the West,” he added. Still, he said, Fico’s attempted assassination had shocked everyone, “but growing aggression in Europe is not a surprise”. After several acts of terrorism in Europe, with the outbreak of the war in Ukraine, “Europe is being transformed” into a pro-war bloc, he said.

“We do not even realise how radically Europe’s position on the war has changed,” he said, adding that “Germany wanted to send helmets to Ukraine two years ago, and now European leaders, and even NATO are discussing sending troops,” he said. Violence has become part and parcel of everyday life and “it is a tangible process in Europe, which is a great problem,” Orbán said. “The most important mission of the European Union is peace and welfare comes second … after an attack like that it requires a strong faith to maintain that position,” he said.

“Our task is to try to curb aggression in everyday life and the risk of war in politics,” he said.

Orbán wished a speedy recovery to Fico, adding that the attack was “all the more painful” because of the upcoming elections’ significance. Slovakia had started on the way to peace, “and that was great help for Hungary. We have lost that support now,” he said.

Suggesting a link between the assassination attempt and the war “would not be unjustified”, Orbán said, adding that “forceful centres of power have an interest in a continued Russia-Ukraine war.” “There have not been many (countries) speaking the voice of peace … apart from Hungary it has been the Vatican, and Slovakia has just turned in the direction of the peace camp,” Orbán said. Referring to the attack on the Slovak prime minister, he said “one of those countries has dropped out, which means that Hungary must double its efforts and its work will become more difficult in Brussels, in fights with pro-war politicians.” While an investigation into the assassination is under way, “it is certain that the perpetrator was progressive, leftist, and pro-war,” he insisted.

Therefore, “assumptions of a link between the attempt and war are not unjustified; there are great forces behind pro-war politicians … from the Soros empire through weapon manufacturers, lenders, the top dogs and forceful power centres have an interest in a continued and escalating war,” he said.

Orbán suggested that the assassination attempt coincided with “other developments showing preparations for war.” “The pro-war camp are in negotiations; that is when the head of the Soros empire and the American foreign secretary have gone to Kyiv, and want to give more and more money to Ukraine,” he said.

“The ink is not dry on the agreement aimed at providing aid to Ukraine from a joint EU loan and NATO is already organising a mission to Ukraine, proposing to ensure a further 100 billion dollar financing for the war,” he said. Meanwhile, he warned that “NATO is not a charity of peace corps but a defence alliance, and it had better not prepare for a military mission outside the territory of NATO countries.” The Hungarian government needs to make “serious efforts to prevent Hungary from being dragged into the war,” he added. The war “cannot be resolved on the battlefield … settlement can only be achieved through a ceasefire and at the negotiating table, therefore politicians must take over the command from generals,” Orbán said. “Let diplomats again take over from the soldiers,” he said.

The war in Ukraine destroys the economy, Orbán said and pointed to “wartime prices”, higher interest rates and energy prices, as well as more expensive shipping in Europe all to be paid for by citizens, the prime minister said.

“Those for peace must not be afraid; they must face the Soros empire, and if necessary, American foreign policy, and they must make clear that it is in Europe’s interest that the parties return to the negotiating table rather than keep pushing for a hopeless military solution,” the prime minister said.

Leaders of pro-peace countries, with a clear mandate from the public, have a better chance of keeping their countries out of the war than those with chaos, uncertainty, instability and rivalries behind them, weakening their international position, Orbán said.

While the situation now differs from those on the eve of the two world wars, Hungary is once again surrounded by “world powers with an interest in pushing Hungary into this war, and we must resist,” he said.

Showing pro-peace unity in Hungary “is not simple because the left is pro-war, financed by those hoping to profit from the war,” he said.

Those voting for the ruling Fidesz-Christian Democrat (KDNP) alliance “are voting for peace, and the more people do so, the better our chances to stay out of the war,” Orbán said.

Hungary’s leaders “must not waver” if they are to keep Hungary out of the war and must find allies everywhere, Orbán said. “Even though we lost Robert Fico temporarily,” Hungary is on the lookout for new allies that could back up their stance, “if not generally against the war, then in opposing individual steps pointing in that direction.” Italy, for example, opposed sending soldiers to Ukraine, he said.

Meanwhile, Hungary requires economic rather than ideological ties with the East and West alike in order to become a meeting place for cutting-edge technologies, he said.

“I think we have managed to free our ties to the east from its ideological and historic shackles,” he said.

Before Chinese President Xi Jinping’s visit last week, it had been 20 years since the last visit of a Chinese president to the country. Meanwhile, China’s share in the world economy has doubled and the European Union’s has fallen by one fifth, Orbán said.

China is a leading power in several technologies such as railway technology, e-vehicles, green energy production and storage and “the entire culture of batteries”, as well as information technology, he said. “We have an interest in drawing investments with the best technologies,” he added, citing the industrial park in Debrecen, in eastern Hungary, as an example.

“If Hungary wants to belong among the countries living the best in the world and doesn’t want to slide into being second-rate,” it must draw cutting-edge technologies, he said.

Chinese President Xi Jinping’s visit has been an “enormous step forward”, Orbán said, adding: “We must not believe that the world’s division into blocks again is a foregone conclusion.”

While Hungary is being criticised for its cooperation with “certain Chinese telecommunication companies … Germany cooperates with similar companies happily,” Orbán said.

In terms of money and economy, the world seems to be moving towards cooperation, and Xi’s invitation for Hungarian companies to participate in China’s modernisation “is an enormous opportunity,” he said. “Every country in the world does the same; in fact, we are competing for connections,” the prime minister added.

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