Prime Minister Viktor Orbán - Photo: PMO

Orbán: European politics facing serious challenges

The global developments of recent times have been tumultuous, and European politics is facing serious challenges, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán told the 10th summit of the Organisation of Turkic States in Astana on Friday. Europe's answers to those challenges will heavily impact its relations with the Turkic world, Orbán said.
3. November 2023 12:22

Orbán said that from a European standpoint, world security was now at its worst since the end of the cold war. “The situation has never been as difficult or complicated in the past 30 years as it is now,” he said.

A war has been raging for over 18 months in Ukraine, armed conflict has just broken out in the Middle East, terror threat is growing in the EU, and the bloc has failed to stem the “waves of migration” at its borders everywhere except in Hungary, he said.

Meanwhile, growing energy prices are harming the EU’s competitiveness, he said.

“Europe’s dilemma is whether it has an interest in creating blocs in world economy or in developing global networks and connectivity,” he said.

Orbán said one trend was trying to push Europe towards the former, by severing “the economic ties with Russia which are at the foundation of European economy”, and debating curbing European-Chinese relations. The other trend, of which Hungary is a proponent, wants to strengthen cooperation, and sees interdependence as an opportunity for progress and growing competitiveness, Orbán said, praising the OTS as a “champion of competitiveness” which had been on the “right track” in recent years.

Regarding the war between Ukraine and Russia, Orbán said the conflict was putting the entire continent in immediate danger. “I must say, the European strategy has clearly failed over the past 18 months,” he said.

Orbán said the original plan was that Ukraine would be fighting while the West is providing the money and weapons, then Ukraine wins, Russia is defeated in the battlefield, changes follow in leadership in Moscow and an agreement can be signed with the new leaders. That ambitious and logical plan has not worked, he said. The question in European politics now is whether to face reality and prepare a plan B, he added.

The European Union is now considering granting 50 billion euros to Ukraine, which is a sign that the majority still thinks that the previous, failed strategy should financed, Orbán said.

He added that this dispute caused huge tension between EU countries and it would last at least two months.

Hungary is calling for a plan B which aims at ceasefire, peace talks and building a new European security architecture which is reassuring for Ukraine but also acceptable to the Russians, he said.

The new European security structure must also involve Turkiye and through it all Turkic countries, because sustainable and long-term European security cannot be imagined without Turkiye, he added.

The role of the OTS is increasing in the current international situation, he said. Turkic countries have already been able to dampen conflicts, and the risk of escalation and “Hungary would like to strengthen this policy within the Organisation”, he added.

He confirmed that Hungary was ready to participate in the work of the Turkic Investment Fund and upheld its plan to contribute 100 million euros to it.

He expressed thanks to Hungary for an opportunity to join the Green Financial Council and noted that Hungary was among the 20 countries in the world that increased its GDP while reducing emissions.

At the start of his speech, Orbán thanked Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev for the invitation and wished him a successful presidency. He expressed “the Hungarian people’s respect” to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and to Turkiye for the 100th anniversary of the founding of the republic. He thanked Erdogan for his efforts to restore peace and also greeted President of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev, and thanked his for successfully carrying out the work of the Organisation of Turkic States “in a very difficult and complex period”. He wished much success to Azeri President Ilham Aliyev for his work on the stabilisation of the region and for the reconstruction of Karabakh.

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