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HomeNewsEurope facing leadership crisis; India a like-minded ally: Balazs Orban

Europe facing leadership crisis; India a like-minded ally: Balazs Orban

The Ukraine war has shown that Europe is struggling with a leadership crisis and lacks strategic autonomy, but there is optimism outside with India proving to be one of the strongest and like-minded allies of Hungary, said Balazs Orban, political director of Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban.

“Hungary has been vocal from the start about calling for an immediate ceasefire and the start of negotiations to restore peace in our region. Unfortunately, this is currently a rather isolated position in the West. The only other state publicly having similar views might be the Vatican. This war showed that Europe is struggling with a leadership crisis and lacks strategic autonomy. The hawkish approach we witness in Europe today is clearly not in the interest of Europe,” Orban told ET during an interview.

Orban was here to participate in the Raisina Dialogue, India’s premier foreign policy platform.

“Amid the skyrocketing inflation as well as the current energy and food crisis triggered by the war, the only logical conclusion is that we must join forces to restore peace as soon as possible. On an optimistic note, this is less of an outlying position among the rest of the world. We are constantly on the lookout for like-minded, reasonable partners therefore, among whom India has proved to be one of the strongest allies in this endeavour. We hope to see more and more countries joining our side and advocating for peace,” Orban said.

When asked about Indo-Hungarian economic partnership, Orban said India is the fourth largest Asian investor in Hungary with 38 Indian companies operating in that country, providing jobs for almost 8,000 people. “We have concluded strategic cooperation agreements with three major Indian investors: Tata Consultancy Services, CG Electric and Samvardhana Motherson Reflectec. Last year we have agreed to enhance our economic cooperation in the field of commerce, investment, water management, culture and tourism, as well as pharma.”

Hungary has become an attractive target country for investments. This is also evidenced by an investment volume of EUR 6.5 billion last year, the highest in the region, Orban said. “We aim to work more closely to bring Indian students to Hungary, as well as Hungarian students to India through scholarship programmes such as Stipendium Hungaricum to pursue university degrees. Building on these graduates, we hope to open up new economic opportunities for both countries.”

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