Orban says Ukraine can’t win the war

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There’s no chance for Ukraine to win this war, Hungarian PM says

During the Qatar Economic Forum Bloomberg interviewed Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban. The nationalist leader expressed sympathy for Ukraine but argued that sending them further aid will only lead to more deaths.

“Emotionally it’s tragic, all of our hearts are with the Ukrainians,” Orban, 59, told Bloomberg. “But I’m talking as a politician who should save lives. There’s no chance to win this war,” he added.

Orban has been criticized for his close ties to Putin for the past years. Hungary is currently blocking 500 million euro in financial aid for Ukraine and opposes new sanctions against Russia. During the event, Orban reiterated his call for an immediate cease-fire — a stance his critics interpret as a call for Ukraine’s capitulation.

Hungary might not fulfill tasks required for EU presidency

The European Parliament approved a resolution on Tuesday questioning Hungary’s ability to fulfill the role of the EU Council presidency - Politico reports. Hungary is scheduled to take over the six-month presidency in the second half of 2024.

The nonbinding measure was approved by a 442-144 vote on Thursday afternoon. The resolution only offers vague proposals for restraining Hungary’s scheduled presidency. It questions how Hungary will be able to credibly”  fulfill the Council’s presidency and asks the institution to “find a proper solution as soon as possible”.

Hungary’s Justice Minister Judit Varga dismissed the Parliament’s push as completely unnecessary arguing that EP has “no role” in assigning the order of EU presidencies. Varga stated that Hungary is being attacked and condemned in Brussels for its "pro-peace stance" again. "Pressure on Hungary would continue and intensify," Hungary’s Justice Minister said.

Erdogan invites Orban to inauguration ceremony

Wednesday evening Prime Minister Viktor Orbán spoke on the phone with the newly elected Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who invited him to attend his inauguration ceremony, Bertalan Havasi, the Prime Minister's press chief, told Hungarian News Agency MTI.

Orbán congratulated Erdogan on his election victory. He said that the decision of the Turkish voters and the stability of Turkey is good news for the whole of Europe, as the continent is facing many security challenges and therefore needs a strong Turkey.

Erdogan thanked Orban and expressed his readiness to further develop relations between Hungary and Turkey. He also congratulated Orbán on his 60th birthday. He also invited Orbán to his inauguration ceremony in Turkey on Saturday, which the Hungarian Prime Minister accepted.

European Commission approves Paks II contract modification

The European Commission has approved the contract amendments for the construction of the new units at the Paks nuclear power plant. The newly approved contract will allow to accelerate the Paks investment, Hungarian Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó said on his Facebook page.

"The contract's amendment and the green light from the European Union will make it possible for the new Paks units to be in operation at the beginning of the next decade," Szijjarto said. He added that Paks 2 provides Hungary's long-term security of energy supply. Rosatom will remain the contractor for the Paks 2 project.