Hungary strongly condemns Russia’s attack on Ukraine, President János Áder said at a meeting of the heads of state of the Bucharest Nine (B9) group in Warsaw on Friday.
Russia’s attack on Ukraine is one of the largest military operations seen in Europe since the second world war, but Hungary was also forced to endure a similar one in 1956, the president’s office cited Áder as saying.
“We’re meeting on a special day, Hungary’s memorial day of the victims of communism, which evokes in our memories and feelings from back then,” the president said. “We are feeling what Ukraine is going through right now in this context as well.”
“From our part — given our traditional relations — we have done everything we could to urge the leadership in Moscow to remain level-headed and exercise restraint,” Áder said. “Unfortunately we could not succeed because, as it has now become clear, Russia was carrying out a premeditated plan which was followed by the conscious deception of its international partners.”
“As for our position, I affirm that Hungary shares the joint position of the EU and NATO and will hold to that position,” he said. “We firmly condemn the Russian attack, which is more than bad: it is tragic.”
Áder said Hungary agreed that together with its partners it must make it clear that they condemn the aggression against Ukraine which was “not provoked by Kyiv”, and “hold the leaders of the Russian Federation responsible for the bloodshed”.
“We, too consider Russia’s attack a grave violation of international law and a mockery of the international obligations assumed by Moscow up until now,” Áder said.
Hungary and its partners consider absurd Moscow’s arguments that call into question not only Ukraine’s borders but also its legitimacy, he said, noting that Ukraine was a founding member of the United Nations and a country with which Russia itself has signed a slew of international treaties.
“As we have in the past, we will again join the consensus that will be reached in the EU and in NATO,” Áder said. “We will once again approve the sanctions to be imposed on Russia and we will enforce them.”
Ukraine, he said, was in need of immediate and serious political and humanitarian support, adding that Hungary will contribute its part.
Áder expressed Hungary’s sympathies with Ukrainian civilians “which now have to endure all the suffering that comes with war”.
“We have opened our borders to the peaceful civilians who have been forced to leave Ukraine, whom we will admit in a swift and simplified procedure and will do our best to take care of,” the president said.
“We call on Russia to immediately cease its aggression against Ukraine,” Áder added.
He said it was important for NATO to take the steps that ensure peace, security and military defence in all of its member states.
“We feel the need for the member states of the Atlantic Alliance to once again reaffirm their commitment to the provisions of Article 5 of the Washington Treaty,” he said.
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I suspect that the Russian invasion of Ukraine has come as nasty shock and a bit of a wake up call to Putin’s ‘buddy’ Orbán. Perhaps he’ll know think twice before figuratively speaking, hopping into bed with him at every opportunity.