Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico has described the Hungarian proposals on the EU budget and support for Ukraine sensible and rational and said the Slovak government would support them in Brussels.
Following his meeting with PM Orbán in Budapest, the Slovak Prime Minister emphasized that he agrees with his Hungarian counterpart that the EU should not finance a planned 50-billion-euro aid package to Kyiv from the bloc’s common budget.
The Slovakian prime minister also pointed out that despite him and Viktor Orbán being in different political camps, they have very similar views on several issues: Slovakia also rejects the EU migration pact and agrees with the Hungarian prime minister on issues such as Ukraine, the functioning of the V4 and the future of Europe.
Robert Fico also criticized Brussels for trying to ‘punish’ Budapest over its stance on funds for Ukraine. At their joint press conference with the Hungarian Prime Minister on Tuesday in Budapest, he emphasized that Bratislava is closely monitoring the situation around Hungary, as there are proposals to deprive Hungary of voting and other rights.
He stated that
as long as he is the head of the Slovak government, he will never agree to a country being punished for fighting for its sovereignty and national independence.
Prime Minister Viktor Orbán welcomed Robert Fico, who has recently returned to office, in the Carmelite Monastery. The Hungarian PM remarked that the two of them ‘have been waiting for this meeting for years’. The two leaders first met in April 2012, and the bilateral meeting in Budapest was their 33rd, which is perhaps a European record, Viktor Orbán noted.
Orbán also underscored that
relations between Hungary and Slovakia have never been as good as they are now,
with the two countries being linked within the European Union in a way that mutually strengthens them in terms of physical, economic and energy security, and they are therefore starting to prepare a new bilateral cooperation package.
He stressed that continuity, security and stability are the most important political values, and therefore such a long-term relationship benefits both nations.
He suggested that the interests of Hungary and Slovakia ‘point at least 99 percent in the same direction’, with sovereignty important for both countries.
In response to a journalist’s question, the Hungarian Prime Minister also referred to the upcoming EU summit on 1 February, reminding that two important issues will be discussed: how to help Ukraine and how to amend the EU budget. He emphasized that Hungary is in favour of separating the two issues because it wants financial aid to be provided to Ukraine outside of the Union’s budget.
He acknowledged the need to help Ukraine, but he insisted that it should be done in a way that does not harm the EU budget, and giving 50 billion euros to Kyiv four years into the seven-year EU budget would mean just that. In the end, the resources belonging to the member states could also end up in Ukraine, he warned.