Prime Minister Viktor Orbán underlined that Hungary backs Finland and Sweden’s NATO membership, and Hungary’s parliament will consider the matter in its first session next year.
“The Swedes and Finns haven’t lost a single minute because of Hungary,” he told a joint press conference at the summit meeting of the prime ministers of the Visegrád countries, adding that Hungary was committed to providing the necessary support for their accession to the alliance.
Meanwhile, asked about a Hungarian parliament resolution on the future of the European Union, Orbán said the issue had been swamped by the war in Ukraine, though at the time every country had expressed its opinion, including Hungary. After a debate, Hungary’s parliament voted for a resolution envisaging a European Parliament “with reduced powers”. Rather than being directly elected, MEPs would be selected on the basis of national delegations, he said, adding that this had been a declaration of war as far as the EP was concerned.
Regarding the issue of a pending agreement between the European Commission and Hungary on unlocking the country’s EU funding, Orbán said that “all blocks” to reaching a deal “have been removed”. He said Hungary had struck an agreement with the EC on 17 requirements which “they told us they wanted”. “We have substantiated and implemented them,” the prime minister added. At a commission meeting on Nov. 30, it is expected that a decision will be forthcoming, Orbán said. “We have fulfilled everything we undertook and agreed on,” he said, adding that an “18th demand” had been made with an end-March deadline, and both sides had agreed that Hungary was on track to fulfilling this condition, too.
Addressing the question of military aid in connection with the war in Ukraine, the prime minister said the V4 comprises four sovereign states, “and decisions on military aid is the competence of the sovereign state”.
Orbán noted the V4 had a common stance regarding the strategic goals of Ukraine and Russia. Hungary concurs that Russia must not be allowed to threaten European security and there should be a sovereign Ukraine between the NATO member states and Russia that preserves its territorial integrity, he added.
Hungary backs financial support for Ukraine and has earmarked money in the budget for the purpose, the prime minister said. “But it doesn’t support European Union indebtedness.” The government told the European Commission “in advance that we support financial help for Ukraine”, and this was “fair and necessary”, he said, adding that it had also indicated that Hungary would bear its part of the financial burden. The portion of the 18 billion euros that Hungary has undertaken to provide has been earmarked in the budget, the prime minister said. Hungary’s foreign minister has been empowered to discuss the handover of the monies, he added. “What we won’t support is a solution that pushes the European Union further into the debt community,” Orbán said. “We won’t ever support this”, regardless of whether the matter concerns Ukraine or any other financial issue, he said.
Asked about the scarf depicting the map of greater Hungary that he wore at a football match on Sunday, Orbán said: “Take it easy!” “Sport is sport, and politics is politics, and the two shouldn’t be mixed up,” he declared.