Orbán meets with Austrian chancellor in Vienna

Int’l Relations

Image by MTI/Vivien Cher Benko

Prime Minister Viktor Orbán met with Austrian Chancellor Karl Nehammer in Vienna on Thursday, according to a report by state news wire MTI.

At a joint press conference after the meeting, Orbán said Hungary can continue to count on Austria, and vice versa, in the coming years.

"Friendship is easy in good times and difficult in hard times," he said, adding that amid the current hard times, it was an issue whether the "special historical friendship" between Hungary and Austria could help with matters related to the war, migration, energy and economic cooperation.

He said it is unlikely the sides will come to an understanding on nuclear energy, but attributed their differences to Austria's highly developed hydropower industry made possible by its rivers.

Addressing the war in Ukraine, Orbán urged a change in strategy "or there won't be peace". Without peace, he said, "we won't be able to resolve any problems, there won't be energy and the whole European Union will be pushed into a wartime economic situation".

Orbán said Hungary had been able to reach an agreement with the European Union on all issues regarding sanctions against Russia, so far, but he compared the suggestion of an embargo on Russian gas to "running into a wall". He added that the EU Treaties "clearly state" that determining energy mixes is in the national competence of member states.

Orbán said Hungary has a "zero tolerance" policy for racism and anti-Semitism.

"In Hungary, taking a biological approach on any political matter is not a possibility; what is possible is a cultural approach," he said. "Very simply, we want to maintain our civilization as it is," he added.

As "perhaps the only openly anti-immigration politician in all of the European Union", Orbán said he doesn't want to see Hungary turned into a country of immigration.

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