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Prime Minister Viktor Orbán said in Bucharest that the situation in Europe “has never been as chaotic in the records of history”. He pointed to the war in Ukraine, a serious energy crisis with soaring prices and supply shortages. He said inflation was also hitting the European economy, while “the leaders of Europe have decided to separate the Russian and European economies, and the United States has in the meantime introduced a series of unprecedented market protection measures which are also hitting Europe”. “An epoch in the history of the European economy of importing cheap raw materials and energy from Russia is over; we used to provide western technologies in turn and it yielded economic growth and military security for both sides,” Orbán said. “There is no new strategy, that is why we have a strategic vacuum,” he added.
On another subject, Orbán noted the EU’s increased attention paid recently to Azerbaijan, adding that President Ilham Aliyev had also been open to cooperation. “My decade-long experience is that the EU can always count on Azerbaijan as a reliable partner,” he said. Orbán said Romania had made a “tremendous progress” since his last visit eight years ago, adding that the improvement would justify Romania’s Schengen integration. But, he said, “we made an ill-advised decision in the EU the other day”. That decision should be “corrected” and Romania included in the Schengen area, Orbán said, adding that Hungary would support Romania’s endeavours.