Hungary's future is in EU, NATO, Orbán says

Int’l Relations

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Prime Minister Viktor Orban said the government holds true to the concept of the nation-state and sees Hungary's future in the European Union and NATO, speaking at an international press conference on Wednesday.

"We continue to see Hungary's future within the EU and want to play an active role in shaping the future of the European Union," Orbán said. "We are and will remain a NATO member, and want to build a stronger army, thus strengthening NATO, too," he added.

He said all of Hungary's influence would be used to bring about a ceasefire in Ukraine. He added that urgent action is required to protect families amid the unfolding economic crisis in the EU resulting mainly because of sanctions imposed on Russia. 

Fielding questions, Orbán said Hungary has no plans to expel Russian diplomats, but would not judge other countries for sending Russian envoys home.

Responding to a question about the International Investment Bank (IIB) which is headquartered in Budapest, Orbán said Hungary wants the lender to stay, calling it "an important bank" and noting that Russian stakeholders are a minority in the financial institution.

Asked about the cost of Hungary's gas from Russia, he said the country's new long-term gas contract, is about "security" rather than "saving money", and warned that countries without long-term gas delivery contracts could face shortages.

Orbán said Hungary must strengthen its alliance with Poland, calling it a "matter of strategy", in spite of differences over foreign policy views. He added that some differences between the two countries do not allow for a common position on certain matters, noting that Poland has access to the sea and can take delivery of gas and oil via tankers, while landlocked Hungary relies on pipelines and would have no gas or oil if sanctions against Russia are extended to energy.

He said the government plans to extend the system of family support measures, "building it up", but added that timing is still an issue.

The PM added the government aims to maintain financial stability and keep the country's GDP growth over the EU average.

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