“Peace could be achieved through ensuring Ukraine’s national sovereignty and territorial integrity,” Budapest Mayor Gergely Karácsony said at a celebration marking Kyiv Day in Budapest on Thursday. Noting the “500 days of war” in Hungary’s neighbourhood, Karácsony said “my generation has taken peace for granted, for which others, our parents and grandparents, had to work … but [Russian President Vladimir] Putin’s aggression against Ukraine has made us realise that all those values and achievements are not automatically given … they must be protected and reinforced time after time”. “Humanity, solidarity, democracy, and freedom are such values … the values of Budapest, and of Kyiv, that wonderful and wonderfully brave city,” he added.
The mayor also insisted that “standing by Kyiv and Ukraine in the name of solidarity and humanity cannot be a matter of consideration or scheming; standing by Ukraine and Kyiv is a matter of faith and conviction”.
István Balog, Ukraine’s acting charge d’affaires to Hungary, referred to Ukraine’s suffering in the “terrible and merciless war waged by Russia” and said “the world must at last realise Russia’s true face as an aggressor, a terrorist state … the world must declare that it has had enough of the Kremlin’s cynical and brutal measures”. “Ukraine wants peace … but not an illusion of peace; the people of Ukraine do not want a frozen conflict but a lasting and fair peace and guarantees preventing such heinous crimes from recurring,” he said. “We must demonstrate that open genocide committed by one state on another is not to be tolerated and cannot pass without punishment,” Balog said.