Hungary has consistently taken a pro-peace stance since the outbreak of the Russo-Ukrainian War and calls for an early end to the armed conflict. In recent times, various attempts to exert pressure have become regular in the international political arena, aimed at making our country change its anti-war and anti-sanctions policy. According to European Commission Vice-President Vera Jourová, among others, “Hungary needs to be held accountable more often, especially for its position on Russia and the war”, while David Pressman, the U.S. ambassador to Hungary, in response to Viktor Orbán’s calls for an immediate ceasefire, said there was no such thing as a “peace camp”. In view of international criticism, Századvég examined what the Hungarian adult population thinks about the European purchase of weapons for Ukraine, the issue of training Ukrainian soldiers in the European Union, and leading pro-war politicians.
The expansion of the war must be avoided
For more than a year, the war conflict between Russia and Ukraine has been going on, and Brussels’ sanctions and supplies of arms and munitions in support of Ukraine have not been able to prevent it from prolonging. In parallel with the escalation of the armed conflict, public concern about the expansion of the war appeared. According to research data,
more than three-quarters (76 percent) of Hungarians are worried that in the near future the Russo-Ukrainian armed conflict may escalate into a third world war, and our country – as a member of NATO – may become affected.
Among other things, the danger of the escalation of the war can be explained by the fact that the Hungarians – like the trends of recent months – are clearly opposed to the steps that will result in a move further away from the conclusion of peace and an early, compromise end to the conflict. It is easy to see that
some forms of military-type assistance (such as the purchase of weapons and the training of soldiers) significantly increase the risk of becoming a belligerent.
76 percent of those surveyed do not agree with the European Union and its members buying more weapons for Ukraine, and 72 percent oppose the European Union training Ukrainian soldiers.
Popular disapproval of pro-war and pro-sanctions politicians has become constant
It is related to the consistent pro-peace stance of the Hungarian population that the perception of leading politicians who advocate the war and the continuation of Brussels’ sanctions policy continues to show a negative image.
Seventy-one percent of respondents expressed an unfavourable opinion of Russian President Vladimir Putin, and 64 percent of respondents expressed an unfavourable opinion of U.S. President Joe Biden. Sixty-two percent of Hungarians had a negative opinion of Volodymyr Zelensky, and more than half of those polled had a negative opinion of Ursula von der Leyen.
To conclude, it can be stated that despite the international criticism of Hungary,
Hungarians remain committed to pursuing a pro-peace policy
and do not support the steps and measures that help to further prolong the war.
CATI-method, n=1000, among the Hungarian adult population, data collection: February 2023.