After meeting with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in Brussels along with other European leaders, Orbán noted that from listening to Zelensky, there is little chance for peace or a ceasefire.
“Listening to the Ukrainian president, it is obvious that this war is dragging on. We cannot expect it to end any time soon,” the Hungarian prime minister said following the meeting.
Orbán was accompanied by the prime ministers of Greece, Croatia, and Slovenia as well as the Austrian chancellor and the Bulgarian and Cypriot heads of state. All parties attended a separate meeting with Zelensky in Brussels, at the venue of the EU summit, said Bertalan Havasi, the prime minister’s press chief, while speaking with Hungarian state press outlet MTI on Thursday.
Despite Orbán’s pessimism about ending the conflict anytime soon, he is calling for peace and a ceasefire.
“Saving lives is only possible with peace and a ceasefire. We Hungarians remain on the side of peace, the prime minister said in a video published on his social media page on Thursday.
Orbán noted that Hungary had provided the largest humanitarian aid to Ukraine in its history last year. “We have allowed more than 1 million refugees from Ukraine to cross our borders,” he added.
The prime minister stressed that “we Hungarians will continue to help the Ukrainians with humanitarian aid, but we will not continue to supply weapons.”
Orbán said that the peace negotiations, a ceasefire as quickly as possible, and a settlement leading to lasting peace remained in Hungary’s interests.
The Hungarian prime minister has long warned that Europe is being “dragged” deeper into the war, which could have catastrophic consequences in the long term.
“Therefore, we (in Hungary) are not in danger of being swept into it, but others are not only in danger but have already been swept away. And then there are the statements about whether they (Western countries) are at war with Russia or not. This is a ridiculous situation because who is at war is not a question of statements. If you are sending weapons, if you are financing the entire annual budget of one of the warring parties, if you promise new weapons shipments, more and more modern weapons, then you can say whatever you want. No matter what you say, you are in the war,” said Orbán last month.