Hungary will speed up the development of its military by two to three times, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán told public radio Friday. “We must pursue capability development at a very fast pace,” he said. He said NATO had not yet confronted the possibility of “a collapse of the Ukrainian front”, adding that there was “every chance” of the front would be moving closer to Hungary.
Hungary’s defence capabilities must be stepped up “radically” with “superhuman effort”, he said. “To secure peace, we must now boost our military capabilities massively,” Orbán said. “This is not Hungary’s war; we must stay out of it,” he added.
Hungary, the prime minister insisted, was in a tougher position than other states due to the war in Ukraine and the “flood of migrants”.
He noted that 800,000 refugees have so far entered Hungary,
while this year the number of people crossing the border illegally has numbered more than 100,000.
Ukraine obtaining candidate status from the European Union will help to bolster the rights of ethnic Hungarians living there, Prime Minister Viktor Orban told public Kossuth Radio on Friday.
The candidacy is a “first step”, and it does not automatically mean the start of integration talks, he noted. Kyiv will have to fulfil requirements for the accession talks to begin, including EU and Hungarian requirements regarding ethnic minorities in the country, he said.
“We are in a much better position now, with Ukraine requesting the candidacy, than we would be otherwise,” he said.
The only way to end wartime inflation is by putting an end to the war, he said. “Hungary must be on the side of peace,” Orbán cleared. Whereas Hungary is officially curbing the price of certain products, wartime inflation can only be dampened temporarily and partially using these means, he said. Rather than imposing more sanctions, a ceasefire followed by an agreement on a framework for peace negotiations is needed, he added. The prime minister said that amid a war situation, the country was in a defensive posture, and now was not the time to push forward with investments or even wages. Rather, the aim now was to
“not allow the war situation to push our economic development and living standards backwards,”
The government, Orbán added, pledges to protect full employment, the family support system, caps on utility bills and pensions.
Fully 6,560 people crossed into Hungary directly from Ukraine on Thursday, while another 5,895 from Ukraine crossed from Romania, the national police headquarters (ORFK) said. Police issued temporary residence permits valid for thirty days to 309 people, ORFK told MTI on Friday.
Holders of such permits must contact a local immigration office near their place of residence within thirty days to apply for permanent documents, it added. Budapest police received 268 refugees, 125 children among them, arriving by train, ORFK said.