Katalin Novák's speech at the Crimean Platform
Dear president, Dear colleagues!
I'm here because I'm supposed to be here. I am here because I was invited for the second time, so I came personally for the second time.
No question, we need clear speech and clear acts. We need a clear stand for Ukraine and a clear condemnation of Russia's unprovoked aggression.
At the 75th day of the unprovoked aggression against Ukraine, I was inaugurated as new president of Hungary. At this point already I summarized the Hungarian position vis-a-vis the war in Ukraine against Ukraine in ten points. I confirmed that Hungarians condemned the armed invasion and that Ukraine has its place in Europe. I also stated that war crimes should be investigated, that we stand by the innocent victims, and that Hungary is ready to play a mediating role to facilitate peace talks.
I can assure you, Mr. President, that Hungary remains committed to these principles to the very days as of the 555th day of the war. I arrived last night to Kyiv, and I came through Transcarpathia. I had the chance to celebrate our national day together with the members of the national Hungarian community in Transcarpathia.
And I have to tell you that your visit to Transcarpathia was also very meaningful. And that you yourself also addressed that you see Transcarpathia as a resource for the future when we finally come to the restoration of Ukraine. Transcarpathia can be a resource for us, and I very much count on you to have a very strong friendship between Hungarian nationals and the other members of the society in Transcarpathia as well.
And today I had the chance to visit Bucha, and to go to kindergarten which was built by the Hungarian Interchurch Aid. And I had the chance to meet the children who actually prepared an Hungarian flag and an Ukrainian flag for us. So I think this also just demonstrated our friendship and strength. And as the Commander-in-chief of the Hungarian armed forces, I understand what Ukraine is going through, and Hungary is also following the events closely. The political space for maneuver is narrow. Especially thanks to this, I welcome today's joint declarations, for which the EU stands united, because Ukraine's sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity are unquestionable. Ukraine has the right to state that the war started in Crimea and it should end with the return of Crimea to Kyiv.
Mr. President, everyday Ukrainian courage, charm and strength have earned and continued to earn the respect and full solidarity of Hungary, the entire EU, NATO and the international community. Hungary fought a number of great wars, sometimes painful ones. These fights taught us one key thing to remain who we are, a patriotic nation. We perfectly understand a nation in conflict, fighting for its own rights. I see and feel this attitude among Ukrainians as well.
Over the centuries, Hungarians have learned that there is room for exercising freedom by deep-rooted tolerance and by mutual respect. We build on mutual trust with our neighbors and we protect the minorities living in Ukraine and in Hungary. Protecting freedom in times of war is challenging, but not impossible. Responsible leaders always pay attention to seemingly marginal matters in the shadow of the daily battles of the war. These efforts will immediately show the greatness of human dignity once peace returns. Hungary's support for peace is manifested in a number of aid programs aimed at Ukraine.
Almost two million people fled to Hungary from Ukraine since last February. And Hungary is carrying out the most significant humanitarian action in its modern history. Health and medical equipment and medicines worth 10 million euros were sent. Hungary covered the cost of transporting 10,000 tons of grain from Ukraine. And I also had the privilege to be here in Kyiv with you at the Cranes for Ukraine program.
I am specifically committed to protecting children's rights. The ones who are the most vulnerable and the ones who are the most precious to us. I say this not only as the president of a country but also as a mother of three children.
In times of war, children cannot be on the losing side. Children cannot be taken away from their families by force. Not to mention the disgusting abuse that shake me and my country to a great extent. Let's stand together against all violations of children's rights and draw attention to each and every case. The war cannot rub the future of our children.
And my way to Kyiv at the stopover in Transcarpathia, I met, just as I said, I met the ethnic Hungarian families and I also experienced how valuable it is to show the children that their future is at stake and that we offer them the freedom what children need so much, so they don't lose their childhood. Ukrainian soldiers and children are also treated in Hungarian hospitals, and Ukrainian children participating in summer camps in Europe are also received and cared for by the Hungarian government. And at this very moment, actually 500 Ukrainian children are enjoying a summer camp in Hungary at the Lake Balaton. And I am very happy and proud that even for this short time they can forget all the tragedy that they have to suffer here.
Mr. President, I wish for nothing more than an end to bloodshed and fighting, so that peace is reachieved in our neighborhood. Regardless of how long it takes to return to peace, Hungary will continue to provide Ukraine with humanitarian and educational support, as well as training opportunities, and will continue to meet all of its international obligations. Budapest commits to support all initiatives aimed at winning the peace. And this path, Budapest, as a capital, is always there to have a just peace agreement.
On this mission of ours, I will visit Rome immediately after Kyiv and go to the Vatican and meet the Pope. And I will deliver these messages to His Holiness as well. And I look forward to finding our common path toward a just and long-lasting peace.
Thank you for me so much.