Female presidents of Hungary and Slovenia call for peace in Ukraine

Slovenian President Nataša Pirc Musar and Hungarian President Katalin Novák in Budapest. (Facebook)
By Dénes Albert
3 Min Read

The first female presidents of Slovenia and Hungary met in Budapest on Tuesday to issue an urgent call for peace in Ukraine.

The 54-year-old Nataša Pirc Musar was elected as the first female president of Slovenia in December 2022, while Katalin Novák has been the first female Hungarian president since May of the same year.

Novák stressed the fact that both countries have their first female presidents and recalled that Nataša Pirc Musar’s first official visit abroad as president was to Hungary. She also addressed the war between Russia and Ukraine, the enlargement of the European Union in the Western Balkans, the importance of cooperation between the two countries, the issue of national minorities, and demographic concerns.

Novák said that she and her Slovenian counterpart were in agreement on the Russian-Ukrainian war. Both condemned Russian aggression and underlined the need to find a way to peace as soon as possible. To this end, allies must be found, as peace in the region and in Europe as a whole is at stake.

She also stated that Ukraine must not be encouraged to have unrealistic expectations of aid and that Hungary will never send its troops to join them on the battlefield.

Novák highlighted the 150,000 Hungarians living in Transcarpathia, currently fighting for the restoration of their former rights. She added that Ukraine must act according to European standards if it wants to become a member of the European Union while also pointing out that Hungary had provided assistance to 1.5 million refugees from Ukraine.

On the issue of national minorities, Novák said that the situation in Slovenia and Hungary was exemplary, with both countries demonstrating how minorities should be respected and supported.

Regarding the enlargement of the Western Balkans, the Hungarian president stated that integration is in the interest of Europe as a whole, and therefore the accession of these countries to the EU must be accelerated.

Novák also revealed how Hungary is counting on cooperation with Slovenia to reduce its dependency on Russian energy, a policy of utmost importance to the Hungarian administration.

Lastly, the pair discussed the demographic challenges affecting Europe, and Novák invited her Slovenian counterpart to the Demographic Summit in Budapest in September to address this issue.

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