Not in the past thirty years has an election had so much at stake, Prime Minister Viktor Orban said in an interview to public radio ahead of Sunday’s ballot.
“The issue of war or peace is pivotal to the country’s future,” the prime minister said on Friday. “We must prevent Hungary from being dragged into the war.” “This is not our war. If we want developments we need peace,” Orbán said. He said voters should “feel the gravity of the situation, see the terror of war and the possible affects on Hungary.”
“Let’s stand up for our homeland, protect Hungary, and vote for peace,”
He said the Ukrainian president’s efforts must be taken “with understanding”. “He’s looking out for Ukrainian interests and trying to help his own country, and hopes to get out of a difficult situation by involving others in the war; and I have no dispute with him,” Orbán said. He said
his dispute was with the Hungarian opposition, which, he insisted, wanted to “obey” the Ukrainian president.
Some countries have shipping and storage capacities allowing them to manage without Russian oil or gas, he said, said it was “not a question of putting on a pullover and turning the heating down or paying a few forints more for gas.” “Rather, Hungary won’t have any energy at all if supplies from Russia are cut,” Orbán said. The Hungarian economy cannot function without those supplies, Orbán said, adding that Hungary could not
“turn off cheap Russian energy and buy expensive American energy instead”,
which he said was an “absurd” proposal.
“The problem is with the left wing, which has already made its own backroom deal,” the prime minister said. If the opposition won the election, “weapons transports to Ukraine would get under way, and they would cut off oil and gas from Russia, ruining Hungary.” “This is risky, this is dangerous: the left wing is playing with fire,” Orbán said.
Meanwhile, he said
Europe was facing “a serious and deep economic crisis with its roots going deeper than the Russia-Ukraine war”.
The European economy has problems with its competitiveness and a shift to new technologies in its attempt to eliminate fossil fuels, he said. Orbán said energy prices were “not going up by themselves” but as a result of decisions made by Brussels bureaucrats, and the war had amplified those tendencies. It will be an important challenge to the next government to reduce the effect of the economic crisis resulting from high energy prices in Europe, he added.
He said that during times of crisis, the left wing’s reflex was to impose austerity, but the “national side”, he added, applied policies that
prioritized economic growth and tax cuts.