Katalin Novák inaugurated as President of Hungary

Government

Photo by MTI/Szilárd Koszticsák

Katalin Novák was inaugurated president of Hungary at a ceremony in front of the parliament building on Saturday, according to a report by state news wire MTI.

In a speech, Novák acknowledged the "shadow" of war and noted that 700,000 refugees from Ukraine had entered Hungary, so far. Hungarians have collected "several hundred million forints" of donations; offered food, shelter, and work to refugees; cared for the wounded; sent food to those who stayed behind; and offered Ukrainian children the chance to continue their education, she said.

"Hungary aced the compassion test. I thank you all for it!"

"We condemn Putin's aggression, the armed invasion of a sovereign state," she said, adding that Hungary demands that war crimes be investigated and punished.

"We say eternally no to every effort aiming at the restoration of the Soviet Union!" she said.

Novák said Hungarians "want peace, here in Hungary as well as in our neighboring countries".

"We are not neutral. We stand with the innocent victims and with the truth. As members of the European Union and NATO we meet our commitments, and when we have the right to say no to a decision and the interests of Hungary so require, we do say no," she added.

"We are prepared to make sacrifices for peace, and do not prevent our allies from making sacrifices. Yet we will not consent to decisions demanding a bigger sacrifice from the Hungarian people than the pain such decisions inflict upon the Russian aggressor," she said.

Novák voiced Hungary's continued insistence on ensuring the rights of Hungarians living in Ukraine "now...and after the war".

"As a result of the work of a decade, Hungarians live with their heads held high again. We dare to look our real size and view the world from our specific Hungarian perspective, through the Hungarian lens, mindful of our Hungarian interests. Hungarian confidence, healthy self-esteem, national pride are qualities that exist again. How we have missed them!" she said.

"Let us uphold our national pride, let us cherish it! But let us also make sure that national pride does not become national arrogance, and that neither is it replaced by globalist cowardice," she added.

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