Hungary should stay its course and not allow itself to be dragged into war, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán said on Sunday, the Day of Hungarian Culture, which occurs on Jan. 22 every year.
“We cannot be lured into a trap by siren voices telling us to side with the good side of history,” said Orbán.
“The Hungarians have learned that the good side of history is determined by the great powers that prevail, and they are not interested in what is good for Hungarians,” he added. The prime minister indicated that “this is why we (Hungarians) are not getting lost in the vortex of the increasingly bloody war, and this is why we want a ceasefire, negotiations, and peace.”
Orbán has long called for an end to the war and refused to ship arms to Ukraine, arguing that his country wants to stay out of the conflict.
He also addressed Hungary’s history and why it is pursuing its own unique course in Europe, according to Hungarian news outlet Magyar Nemzet.
“Hungary, just like 200 years ago, on the day its anthem was born, is still Hungary,” Orbán said. “Our greatest struggle has always been to remain who we are and to live the life we want.”
“The Ottomans told us who is the true believer and who is the infidel. The Habsburgs told us who the good Christians were, the Germans told us who we could live with and who we could not. And the Soviets wanted to force us to become world proletarians instead of Hungarians who could eventually unite. And the Brussels bureaucrats want to hammer us into liberal world citizens instead of our Hungarian form, which is considered out of fashion. We always resisted them, we always outsmarted them,” he said.
“We say who can come in, who can stay here, who can live with us and who can’t. We also want to determine how our lives are connected with our neighbors. We are not better or worse, we are different. This otherness is given by Hungarian culture, which has its anniversary today,” Orbán said.
The Day of Hungarian Culture coincides with the day on which the poet Ferenc Kölcsey penned in 1823 the poem that eventually became the country’s anthem in 1844; the composer Ferenc Erkel would then create a melody for it.