According to a recent poll conducted by the Nézőpont Institute, among the world’s best-known leaders, Hungarians consider Pope Francis (92 percent) and Viktor Orbán (72 percent) to be the most peace-oriented. The majority of Hungarians think that Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky (53 percent), US President Joe Biden (58 percent) and Russian President Vladimir Putin (68 percent) are clearly in favour of war.
After a year of physical and economic devastation caused by the Russo-Ukrainian war, the possibility of a ceasefire or peace is still not in sight. After purchasing and delivering deadly weapons, and since the European Union is preparing its eleventh package of sanctions, it is an important question whether international actors are moving towards peace or war. The Nézőpont Institute asked Hungarians how they judge the stance of the best-known leaders.
In the recent period, there have been very few international speeches calling for peace. However, during his visit to Hungary, Pope Francis repeatedly called for “creative efforts” to bring peace to Ukraine. The Holy Father is the most in favour of peace (92 percent) and almost no one (1 percent) thinks that he is on the side of war.
Apart from him, only the Hungarian Prime Minister is considered to be a peace promoter by the majority of Hungarians (72 percent), and only one-fifth as many think the opposite (14 percent). Not only pro-government voters (94 percent), but even the majority of opposition voters (50 percent) are also convinced that Viktor Orbán is a peace supporter. Among Fidesz voters, almost no one (1 percent) thinks that he is not in favour of peace, while less than a third of left-wing voters (30 percent) could imagine him being on the side of war.
The attitudes of the two largest EU leaders are more divisive. French President Emmanuel Macron, who will host a peace conference in December, is considered to be in favour of peace by more people (46 percent) than those who think he is actually in favour of war (35 percent). However, Germany’s Chancellor Olaf Scholz, who after his initial reluctance to provide Ukraine more and more weapons, is now more likely to be considered as a war supporter (35 percent) than as a promoter of a ceasefire (33 percent).
As for the fate of the war, the most powerful international actors are clearly considered to be war supporters. The majority of Hungarians also believe that Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky (68 percent), US President Joe Biden (58 percent) and Russian President Vladimir Putin (68 per cent) are all in favour of continuing the war. On the other hand, only a minority believe that Ukraine (30 percent), which is menacingly demanding support, the United States, the world’s largest arms supplier (23 percent), or Russia (16 percent), the country that started the war, would seek peace.
The latest opinion-poll of the Nézőpont Institute was conducted between 15 and 17 of May, 2023, by interviewing 1,000 respondents by phone. For all surveys, the sample is representative of the adult population (18 years and older) by gender, age, region, type of settlement and education. In case of a sample size of 1000 respondents and a confidence level of 95 percent, the sampling error is ± 3.16 percent. Respondent base = Hungarian voters, respondents who are willing to vote in the elections.