Viktor Orbán explained why his politics will eventually be proven right: ‘We were the only ones who said that borders must be protected during the migration crisis. Later, more and more EU member states realised that we were right. The same will happen regarding the war’, he underlined.
PM Orbán must have ‘run into’ Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy at the meeting, as some Hungarian media put it. However, conspicuously, Viktor Orbán did not post any photos of him and the Ukrainian leader to social media, as opposed to prominently featured pictures with Serbian President Aleksandar Vučić and Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki in a Facebook post. In fact, no formal meeting has been held between the two leaders since Zelenskyy entered office. Although Orbán has been invited to Kyiv, the Hungarian government has made it quite clear that the Hungarian PM will not be travelling to Ukraine unless the rights of the Hungarian minority in the country are restored.
Following the results of the 2022 parliamentary election, the American NGO Freedom House decided to downgrade Hungary’s controversial ‘democracy index’ from last year’s report. Meanwhile, Poland’s and Ukraine’s have been increased.
There are two models of opposition—one that is based on cooperation and one that is based on absolute rejection. While democracies are characterised by cooperation between the ruling and opposition parties, out-of-power parties in Hungary are unwilling to cooperate with the ruling coalition, which results in their ineffectiveness.
‘Hungary has submitted the draft contract modifications to the European Commission, and we received the green light from them yesterday,’ Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Péter Szijjártó announced.
According to Brussels sources, the Hungarian government’s resistance was in connection with concerns over migration-related policies. However, it may be the case that the Hungarian veto is linked to the almost decade-long dispute with Oslo over the Norwegian Fund.
The Hungarian government blocking the latest round of sanctions comes only days after the Orbán administration vetoed the release of €500 million of military aid to Ukraine. The blacklisting of the Budapest-based OTP Bank by Ukrainian officials is behind both of these decisions.
When asked about the news that Commission President Ursula von der Leyen allegedly suggested stopping the Druzhba (Friendship) oil pipeline, the minister said the Hungarian government has received no explanation from Kyiv regarding the rumours, but in his opinion, this is a matter of such significance that the President of the European Commission should personally comment on it.
The Hungarian President emphasised at the HLM on the review of the Sendai Framework in New York that despite Hungary being rather small, it always rushes to the aid of countries in need.
The Hungarian government has vetoed the 11th EU sanctions package against Russia after it was revealed that Volodymyr Zelenskyy allegedly urged the bombing of the Druzhba pipeline, a crucial route via which Russian oil is transferred to Hungary.
The prime minister emphasised that whether there is the possibility of a military resolution or the need for ceasefire and peace negotiations, Hungary stands on the side of peace, therefore supports any plan that leads to it.
At the Reykjavik summit on Wednesday the Hungarian President emphasised that the heads of state and government of the Council of Europe have an ‘extraordinary responsibility in promoting and ensuring peace for their citizens.’
Despite OTP’s continued support of Ukraine, the Ukrainian National Agency on Corruption Prevention has recently classified the Budapest-based bank as an ‘international war sponsor’ for not shutting down its Russian subsidiary.
Hungary and Bangladesh belong to the peace-loving global majority, Hungarian Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Péter Szijjártó said in a joint press conference with Bangladeshi Commerce Minister Tipu Munshi in Budapest on Friday.
The prime minister talked about how Hungary has a vested interest in achieving peace in Ukraine, since the war diminishes the value of Hungary and endangers the ethnic Hungarians living in the area.
Hungary is not the only country in East-Central Europe that sees unwanted commentary and meddling by Russia with regard to interpretations of its history. The periods the evaluation of which is the most frequently contested by Russia are the Cold War era and World War II. While Russia glorifies the USSR’s effort to defeat Nazi Germany, CEE countries, including Hungary, highlight the 45 years the Red Army spent in Central Europe as an occupying force after the end of World War II.
According to the law sponsored by the justice minister, an extended state of emergency is needed to handle the humanitarian catastrophe caused by the war in Ukraine and to tackle the economic consequences of the armed conflict. The bill was designed to ‘ensure all means to assist and accommodate refugees, fence off the negative economic impacts.. and help the country leave behind the effects of the war as soon as possible,’ the draft legislation’s preamble said.
The leaders of five EU member states, Hungary, Poland, Slovakia, Bulgaria, and Romania, requested in mid-April that the European Commission take action on Ukrainian grain entering Europe duty-free and causing harm to local farmers.
Peter Maurer, former president of the International Committee of the Red Cross was invited to a discussion in Budapest by the Mathias Corvinus Collegium. He shared some highlights of the ten years of his presidency and the challenges he faced during his tenure.
Answering the call of the representatives of Orthodox communities, Hungary recognised that the Russian Orthodox Church has some 100 million members worldwide, and the sanctioning of its leader would isolate religious people from their spiritual leader. The Patriarch is regularly prayed for and commemorated during church services in Hungary, too, as it is home to a Hungarian Orthodox community under the Moscow Patriarchate.
Alexandra Szentkirályi reiterated that Hungary still does not and will not ship weapons to Ukraine nor will it allow other countries to ship weapons through its territory.
Hungary has recently announced that it is leaving the International Investment Bank, soon after the US Treasury imposed sanctions on the IIB and its leadership. But what is the story behind this controversial financial institution and what led to its demise?
A new populism is appearing, based on real participatory federalism oriented towards tradition and community, with the Nomos being grounded in the ethnic divisions of states and regions.
The PM opined that if the escalation leads to a world war, it is definitely going to be nuclear. He said that the situation in Ukraine is getting worse by the week, and the danger of escalation keeps increasing.
‘So far, they have done everything, and they will continue to do everything in the future on behalf of the United States government to make Hungary change its position,’ the leader of the Nézőpont Institute, Sámuel Ágoston Mráz said in a radio interview.
The US Ambassador announced that three senior officials of IIB, including a Hungarian citizen, Imre Laszlóczki, and two Russian nationals, Nikolai Kosov and Georgi Potapov have been placed on the list of sanctioned individuals. IIB is a platform for Russia to extend its influence in the region, and is therefore a potential threat for both the European Union and its Western allies, Pressman stated.
The foreign minister emphasised right after winter, ‘in Europe, it is fashionable to strut about with great bravado these days,’ but the International Energy Agency recently issued an ‘ominous’ report indicating that the most severe difficulties are expected to come in the next heating season when supply security will be critical.
The Hungarian foreign minister reminded that the rights of Transcarpathian Hungarians have been systematically curtailed in Ukraine since 2015, and the most recent example of this is that minority schools have become impossible to operate since September this year.
The minister emphasised that the current situation is lethal for Europe’s competitiveness, with gas prices seven times higher than in the United States and electricity three times higher than in China. ‘Under the current circumstances, the solution is to focus on the supply side instead of the demand and bring as much gas to the European market as possible,’ he nailed down.
Viktor Orbán stated that the war is becoming increasingly violent and brutal. He remarked that it would be natural for more and more people to stand for peace as a result, but he does not see this intention among the majority of EU leaders.
Hungarian Conservative is a bimonthly magazine on contemporary political, philosophical and cultural issues from a conservative perspective.