Aletho News


Ukraine to hike transit fees for Russian oil to EU

RT | November 22, 2022

Ukraine has announced plans to raise transit fees for Russian oil running through the Druzhba pipeline to the EU, due to higher costs resulting from Russian air and missile strikes targeting the country’s energy infrastructure.

Ukrtransnafta, the operator of Ukraine’s oil pipeline network, is expected to increase tariffs for transporting crude to Hungary and Slovakia by €2.10 per ton to €13.60 ($13.90) starting on January 1, according to a letter from the company seen by Bloomberg. Its Russian counterpart Transneft confirmed to RIA Novosti that it has received a letter and is studying it.

“We are studying these proposals, preparing relevant reports to the Federal Antimonopoly Service and the Energy Ministry,” Transneft spokesman Igor Demin told the agency.

The Ukrainian company has attributed the price hike to the “continued destruction of Ukrainian energy infrastructure” which has resulted in “a significant shortage of electricity, an increase in its costs, a shortage of fuel, spare parts.”

Ukrainian oil transit fees have already been raised twice this year. The last hike in April reportedly brought the total increase on an annualized basis to 51%.

Druzhba, one of the longest pipeline networks in the world, carries crude some 4,000km from Russia to refineries in the Czech Republic, Germany, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia.

November 22, 2022 Posted by | Aletho News | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Hungary reveals cost of sanctions on Russia

RT | November 18, 2022

The Hungarian economy is losing billions of dollars due to Western sanctions on Russia, Prime Minister Viktor Orban said on Friday.

“The policy of sanctions,” which has led to a drastic surge in energy prices across the EU, will cost his country’s economy $10 billion a year, he stated.

Orban explained that the pressure on the Hungarian budget will result in cuts to social spending, adding that from this perspective, Hungary’s stance against the sanctions “doesn’t seem to be excessive.”

Earlier this week, speaking with local media, he said that “the policy of sanctions is a way to war,” and stressed that the main goal for Budapest is to avoid a Europe-wide recession.

The Hungarian leader is a vocal critic of the EU’s approach towards the conflict in Ukraine, and has repeatedly said that the sanctions imposed on Moscow are hurting the EU more than they hurt Russia.

Hungary’s economy heavily relies on Russian energy, and the government has resisted EU plans to completely ban oil and gas imports from the country. After tense negotiations, Budapest received several exemptions from the bloc-wide restrictions on purchases of Russian fossil fuels.

November 18, 2022 Posted by | Economics, Russophobia | , | Leave a comment

Hungarian objections to EU aid for Kiev regime in line with what most Europeans think

By Drago Bosnic | November 9, 2022

The bureaucratic empire in Brussels seems to be pushing all the wrong buttons in regards to Budapest. The European Union’s failed attempts to force it into submission are effectively being laughed off in Hungary. The bloc’s suicidal anti-Russian sanctions and policies are creating numerous points of contention between Brussels and Budapest. Viktor Orban’s Hungary has run out of patience for this, especially as the EU is also threatening the Central European country with internal sanctions and other restrictions under various pretexts. There are very few things Brussels and Budapest agree on and the differences aren’t only limited to domestic EU policies, but foreign relations as well.

While Hungary prefers a realpolitik approach in regards to other countries and global powers, particularly Russia (and to a certain extent China), the EU’s foreign policy framework is ideological. This often results in accusations that Budapest is a “Russian puppet/asset” and that it’s “trying to ease” the bloc’s economic pressure on Moscow. However, the reality is much simpler – Hungary is trying to ease the pressure on its citizens, as the economic fallout of the failed siege of Russia is deeply affecting the regular people. In the meantime, the detached bureaucrats in Brussels are left unscathed and thus unmoved by the struggles of tens of millions of EU countries’ citizens.

Being fully aware of this for years and determined to prevent economic consequences of such policies, Budapest stated that it won’t support the bloc’s latest “aid” package for the Kiev regime. Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto openly stated that the country will not change its stance as long as it’s forced to fight for access to EU funds blocked by the “rule-of-law” dispute. Namely, Brussels is still holding up at least €7.5 billion in funds for Hungary under the pretext of “persisting corruption and fraud” in the country. In reality, the reason is Budapest’s refusal to follow anti-Russian sanctions and policies which would effectively destroy its economy.

The Western mainstream propaganda machine often portrays Hungary as a “rogue state” and the main obstacle to the futile attempts of isolating Russia, while its leader Viktor Orban is usually presented as a “dictator”, although his popularity in the country suggests otherwise. Hungary’s persistence in its demands for exemptions from anti-Russian energy sanctions is usually used to accuse it of being pro-Russian. However, the country accomplished retaining lower energy prices in comparison to the rest of the EU, which is going through economic and financial unraveling thanks to Brussels’ suicidal subservience to Washington DC.

As there is growing conviction among many EU member states that anti-Russian policies have not only failed to produce desired results, but have even backfired and are ravaging their economies, Hungary is hardly alone in this regard. In addition, the claim that Budapest is pro-Russian is genuinely laughable, as it has provided ample support for the Kiev regime and will continue to do so, as stated by the country’s foreign minister Szijjarto, who said so on November 7 during a conference in Sofia. However, “Budapest still opposes any arrangement that would see funding [for Kiev] jointly with other EU member states,” he added.

Today, November 9, the EU is set to propose a new €18 billion “aid” package for the Kiev regime, which would provide constant cash flow to the Neo-Nazi junta in 2023. The plan is to use the bloc’s joint budget as a guarantee to secure funding for the Kiev regime. The move also involves changes to the EU’s rules that require a unanimous vote to pass proposals. Hungary objects to this, as it would be a dangerous precedent which would force members who voted against certain policies to still follow them, regardless of the negative consequences for those who objected. What’s more, even if a member state voted for a certain decision, it could still be denied funds if it was under sanctions of the unelected bureaucrats in Brussels.

This paradox is precisely what’s happening to Hungary. Namely, the country already supported the EU’s decision to jointly raise debt to finance the bloc’s recovery from the economic fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic, but the funds Budapest is set to receive are being blocked until it “ensures the rule of law.” Brussels is planning to discuss the status of those funds on November 22, which is the deadline given to Hungary to meet the bloc’s “rule of law” requirements. EU bureaucrats are currently working on an assessment of Hungary’s compliance regarding 17 pieces of legislation the bloc insists on. Still, Budapest is not hiding its frustration with the way it’s being treated.

“They’re punishing us and openly blackmailing us with EU money,” Viktor Orban said in a statement for the Budapester Zeitung news outlet last month. “But there’s no legal basis for this — it’s blackmail, pure and simple,” he concluded.

Drago Bosnic is an independent geopolitical and military analyst.

November 9, 2022 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Economics, Russophobia | , | Leave a comment

Biden administration sponsors yet another campaign against Orbán

Free West Media | November 3, 2022

The US government has opened a new chapter in the propaganda and disinformation war against Hungary. It now supports an allegedly “independent” media portal, whose sponsors, however, make it quite easy to see the goals which are being pursued against the country.

According to its own statements, the Internews platform focuses “on promoting a strong independent media sector” in Hungary. There will be further activities in Armenia, Georgia, Poland, Romania and the Ukraine. The aim is to “resist powerful interests trying to manipulate, isolate or control the press”.

The US embassy recently even produced a video listing Hungarian politicians and journalists who have allegedly made “anti-American” statements by name. Essentially these voices either criticized globalist policies to foment the Ukraine war or spoke out against the futility of sanctions.

The list of sponsors for the news portal is revealing. On it one will find, among other things, the well-known Open Society Foundations (OSF) by George Soros, the Rockefeller Foundation and Freedom House, which is financed by the US government. US-based global tech giants like Facebook and Google are also among the backers.

Those in the know recall that Internews is not the US government’s first attempt to reshape the Hungarian media scene. As early as 2017, the US State Department launched a support program right before the elections for “independent Hungarian media in the countryside”. At the time, the government in Budapest accused the US State Department of interfering in Hungarian domestic politics. The programme was later de facto scrapped, presumably because ex-President Donald Trump valued good relations with Hungary.

Under the Biden administration, however, “democracy” exports are back in fashion. Just a few months ago, the Hungarian opposition’s prime ministerial candidate caused a scandal when he admitted that he had received a substantial sum of money for his election campaign from a US foundation.

November 3, 2022 Posted by | Aletho News | , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

US Poured Millions Into Hungarian Opposition Trying to Topple PM Orban

By Evgeny Mikhaylov – Samizdat – 23.10.2022

Russian foreign ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova stated that Washington had fueled the movement against Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban, since the US doesn’t consider the country obedient enough.

“Now, it turns out that the opposition in Budapest was also financed. The Hungarian [newspaper] Magyar Nemzet published an investigation into the funding of the liberal-left coalition of opponents of [Prime Minister] Viktor Orban by the American NGO Action for Democracy. The investigators and special services will probe all the circumstances of the attempts of foreign meddling in the political life of the country, but it is already obvious that the bill approaches millions of dollars,” Zakharova said.

According to the report, the foundation, created just before the February elections, enjoyed close ties with the European Council on Foreign Relations (ECFR). The report also suggested that Action for Democracy is connected to Hungarian-born billionaire George Soros, who funds Open Society Foundations, banned by Hungary several years ago.

Zakharova also reminded that the EU leadership was also discontent with Budapest’s independent stance, threatening Hungary with fines and sanctions, while calling it an “electoral autocracy” for refusing to follow orders from Brussels.

Hungary has staunchly opposed the EU sanctions against Russia. Budapest has repeatedly warned that Brussels’ decision to send military aid to Kiev amid the Russian special military op there and to impose restrictions against Moscow will result in a major economic collapse of the bloc.

The sanctions, backed by the US, Britain, and the EU, exacerbated fuel market issues, resulting in a major energy crisis across Europe, with record-high inflation and skyrocketing cost of living.

October 23, 2022 Posted by | Deception, Russophobia | , , , , | 1 Comment

Hungary criticizes ‘pro-war’ EU

Samizdat – October 22, 2022

The Hungarian Foreign Ministry has rejected EU calls for Russia to be defeated in Ukraine, saying the bloc needed peace, not a prolonged conflict.

EU Commissioner for Home Affairs Ylva Johansson made several statements on the hostilities this week, stressing the bloc’s “determination, resolve and unity to stand by Ukraine as long as it takes.” She also insisted that “to end this crisis, first, Putin must lose.”

Responding on Friday, Tamas Menczer, State Secretary at Hungary’s Foreign Ministry, accused Johansson of making “a very dangerous statement because it links the end of a crisis with a military event, about which we don’t know when will it happen or if it happens at all.”

“This pro-war stance of Brussels extends the conflict and suffering. This is extremely dangerous and unacceptable,” he insisted.

Menczer reiterated the position of the Hungarian government, which is that “we need immediate peace instead of a longer war. Peace requires an immediate ceasefire and dialogue.”

Hungary has remained relatively neutral since the outbreak of fighting in Ukraine in late February. It has refused to send arms to Kiev unlike many fellow EU members and consistently criticized the sanctions imposed by Brussels on Moscow. Budapest, which is heavily dependent on Russian fuel, was also able to negotiate an exemption for itself from the bloc-wide ban on Russian oil.

Moscow, which has repeatedly invited Kiev to come to the negotiating table, has blamed the Ukrainian side for undermining any potential for a peaceful settlement of the conflict.

Earlier this month, Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky signed a declaration that officially made it “impossible” to hold any negotiations with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin. The move followed the inclusion of the Kherson and Zaporozhye Regions, and the People’s Republics of Donetsk and Lugansk, into Russia as result of referendums in those territories. Kiev and its Western backers have labeled September’s votes a “sham” and continue to view the areas as parts of Ukraine.

October 22, 2022 Posted by | Militarism | , , | Leave a comment

Clinton Tried to Push Hungary’s Orban Into Invading Yugoslavia During 1999 NATO War, Vucic Reveals

By Ilya Tsukanov – Samizdat – 08.10.2022

On March 12, 1999, Hungary, the Czech Republic, and Poland became the first members of the defunct Warsaw Pact alliance to be incorporated into NATO after Washington broke its commitments to Moscow not to expand the bloc eastward. Two weeks later, NATO kicked off a massive 78-day aerial bombing campaign against Yugoslavia.

US President Bill Clinton attempted to prod Hungary into invading its Yugoslav neighbors during the alliance’s 1999 aerial campaign of aggression against Belgrade, Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic has revealed.

“In 1999, Hungary was supposed to attack Serbia with ground forces. [Hungarian Prime Minister] Viktor Orban confirmed this to me and allowed me to inform the public about it. US President Bill Clinton and the British demanded from Orban that the Hungarians attack Serbia from the north to stretch our forces to Vojvodina, something Orban refused to do, putting him under great pressure,” Vucic said in an address to the nation on Saturday.

According to the Serbian president, then-German Chancellor Gerhard Schroder helped Budapest withstand the pressure from Washington.

Orban received further criticism for rejecting a ground invasion from the British during his trip to the UK, Vucic said, with former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher telling the Hungarian leader that she was greatly “bothered” by Budapest’s refusal to attack its neighbor, because it would mean that “more British soldiers will die.”

Vucic said the episode demonstrates the disconnect between the Western military alliance’s efforts to build “trust” with Belgrade, and the reality that the bloc plotted to invade his country.

Viktor Orban served his first tenure as Hungary’s prime minister between 1998 and 2002, and presided over the country’s entry into NATO, which was approved by the previous government. He served as leader of the opposition between 2002 and 2010, before his conservative nationalist Fidesz party returned to power.

The US and its NATO allies spent 78 days bombing the now-dissolved Federal Republic of Yugoslavia in the spring and summer of 1999, launching over 2,300 missiles and dropping more than 14,000 bombs, including cluster bombs and depleted uranium munitions which contaminated the Balkans with at least 15 tons of radioactive material. As many as 5,700 people were killed in the bombings, with tens of thousands more diagnosed with cancer thought to be associated with the aggression in the years and decades since. In 2017, Serbian scientist Ljubisa Rakic calculated that the amount of DU dropped on Yugoslavia was equivalent to about 170 Hiroshima bombs. The bombing was also estimated to have caused up to $100 billion in economic damage.

President Joe Biden played a key role in stoking US aggression in Yugoslavia, serving in his capacity as a senator from Delaware as one of the top hawks in Washington pushing for the conflict to be expanded into a full-on ground invasion.

October 8, 2022 Posted by | Militarism, Timeless or most popular, War Crimes | , , , , | 2 Comments

Orbán: ‘Sanctions were not decided democratically’

Free West Media | October 5, 2022

Hungarian President Orbán has once again positioned himself as a committed advocate of genuine European interests and persists in his criticism of the EU’s sanctions policy against Russia.

At least in Hungary, citizens will be able to vote on the sanctions that are causing massive damage to Europe, after Orbán confirmed that there would soon be a referendum on this.

“The sanctions were not decided in a democratic way, but decided by Brussels bureaucrats and European elites,” he said in the Budapest parliament. “Although Europe’s citizens are paying the price, they have not been asked,” he added, underlining that “the sanctions imposed are causing enormous damage to Europe.”

Orbán recalled that since the war began, Russia has earned 158 billion euros over the last six months from energy exports at increased prices. That is more than Russia’s total annual export earnings for 2021 in half a year. Half of this, 85 billion euros, was paid for by the EU countries.

Orbán considers this situation to be intolerable: “European companies are unable, or only with difficulty, to pay the sanctioned energy prices. We are waiting for an answer, the whole of Europe is waiting for an answer from Brussels on the question of how much longer we have to go through with this. If this continues, all of Europe will be ruined. It’s time to talk openly about this with our American friends while it’s not too late.”

October 5, 2022 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Economics, Russophobia | , | 1 Comment

Energy dwarfs sanctioning a giant

Free West Media | September 21, 2022

The EU is targeting Hungary again. Brussels has now cleared the way for massive financial sanctions against Budapest as a tit-for-tat for Hungarian foreign policy, which includes strict neutrality on the issue of Russia sanctions and continuous gas supply contracts with Gazprom.

The EU Commission agreed on Sunday to block EU payments amounting to around 7,5 billion euros since the money is not safe from “misuse” in Hungary, explained Budget Commissioner Hahn. Just recently, a resolution was passed in the European Parliament with a majority of left-wing and green MPs accusing Hungary of no longer being a “democracy”.

The Hungarian government under Viktor Orbán has not contested this move. Orbán instead again criticized Brussels’ course on energy. It is absurd that “dwarfs want to put sanctions under pressure on an energy giant,” said the Hungarian head of government during a visit to Serbia.

Hungary’s gas storage depots are full, Budapest has also negotiated additional supply guarantees with Gazprom, and the price of petrol for Hungarian citizens has been reduced to 1,18 euros per liter.

Against this background, Orbán declared during his visit to Serbia, during which he was awarded a medal by President Vučić: “The stronger impose sanctions on the weaker. But if you look at the energy realm, you see that we, as dwarfs, are now imposing sanctions on an energy giant,” which is a completely unusual phenomenon in history.

“These new sanctions hurt us a lot, so they are bad and painful for us, they cost us a lot of money, and they also threaten a significant part of the gains we have made over the past decade.”

The head of the German Institute for Economic Research (DIW), Marcel Fratzscher, came to a similar conclusion. He told the Reuters news agency that “the Ukraine war caused massive damage to the German economy”.

“Roughly speaking, we are talking about four to five percentage points of gross domestic product being lost over a three-year period,” said Fratzscher. “That’s 150 to 200 billion euros less economic output.”

He warned of “a significant decline in private consumption and thus in the standard of living of an unusually large number of people”. A Forsa survey showed recently that the majority of Germans were no longer willing to accept financial disadvantages because of the federal government’s sanctions against Russia.

Hungary ‘bored’ by EU resolutions

Orbán also commented on the EU Parliament’s latest resolution in Belgrade, saying: “The only reason we are not laughing at this report is that we are already bored […] It is the third or fourth time that this is happening, that a resolution is being passed in the European Parliament condemning Hungary.”

The European Christian Democrats were also moving further and further to the left. “The voting shares show exactly that: the right-wing parties voted for Hungary and the left-wing parties against,” Orbán pointed out.

Meanwhile, a Hungarian delegation led by the Mayor of Budapest Istvan Tarlos visited the city of Samarkand.

A Samarkand official welcomed the Hungarian delegation, and told them about the economic potential, tourism opportunities of the region. Prospects of expanding trade, economic, tourism and other cooperation between Samarkand and Budapest were discussed.

Guests from Hungary got acquainted with historical and cultural monuments, as well as the sights of Samarkand.

September 21, 2022 Posted by | Economics, Russophobia | , , | Leave a comment

EU Threatens To Suspend €7.5BN In Hungary Funding Amid Charges Of ‘Cozying Up’ To Putin

By Tyler Durden – Zero Hedge – September 19, 2022

The EU’s patience with Viktor Orban’s Hungary is running extremely thin after years of wrangling and threats from Brussels of triggering the “rule of law” mechanism, despite recently announced efforts of Budapest to establish an anti-graft agency.

It seems Russia’s war in Ukraine is hastening a confrontational and fractured ending to the standoff, with the EU on Sunday threatening to freeze 7.5 billion euros which had been earmarked for Hungary, citing persisting corruption and fraud.

It’s been no secret that Orban has been a thorn in the side of European efforts to punish and isolate Putin’s Russia. While Hungary has demanded exemptions from EU energy sanctions on Russia, and has meanwhile enjoyed cheap gasoline and other energy at a moment prices in the rest of Europe have gone steadily up over the course of the war – and into what’s sure to be a tough winter – the belief among leading EU states is that joint bloc anti-Russia actions have been largely blunted. The timing of the fresh EU threats is not going unnoticed.

Bloomberg in a fresh report has put the dilemma as follows: “But while most member states have been engaged in a desperate scramble to secure alternative gas supplies ahead of the winter, Orban has deepened his country’s ties to the Kremlin, exploiting the exemptions he demanded from EU sanctions to secure increased imports of gas from Russia.”

Poland has remained a powerful impediment thus far to Brussels triggering any significant rule of law penalties, despite Warsaw remaining at the forefront of denunciations of Russia’s invasion.

“During years of frustration at the Hungarian government, Orban has been shielded from the EU’s main disciplinary machinery, known as the article 7 procedure, by the support of the nationalist government in Warsaw — because that mechanism too requires the endorsement of all the other members,” Bloomberg recounts. “The war in Ukraine has soured Orban’s relationship with the Polish government, which has been among the most ardent supporters of firm action against Putin, but for now the Poles are standing by Orban.”

Orban has cast efforts to “punish” his country in terms of a war on traditional values. For now, Poland seems to agree… the vast divergence in rhetoric on the Russia-Ukraine conflict notwithstanding.

Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said Sunday, “Poland will strongly oppose any action of European institutions that intend to unduly deprive any member states of funds, in this case Hungary.”

Interestingly (given the timing of the EU’s threat to freeze funds), just days ago PM Orban reportedly told a closed-door meeting of officials from his ruling Fidesz party that he would fight efforts to extend EU sanctions on Russia:

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban expects European Union leaders to start talks on extending sanctions on Russia in the autumn but Budapest would try to block the move, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty reported, citing unidentified sources.

Orban, a harsh critic of EU sanctions on Moscow over its invasion of neighbouring Ukraine, made the remarks at a closed meeting to party members in the western village of Kotcse last week, RFE/RL said on its Hungarian website on Friday.

He also appeared to once again blame the West for the Ukraine conflict spiraling out of control, and continued his theme of anti-Russia sanctions ultimately blowing back on populations at home, or shooting the European economy in the foot.

Russian media too has been featuring recent quotes of Orban’s lambasting collective Western policy: “The Hungarian leader allegedly told his supporters that he believed Ukraine may end up losing between one third and one half of its territory due to the conflict with Russia, RFE/RL reported on Friday, citing participants of the meeting in the village of Kotcse.”

Budapest has meanwhile lashed out at the European Parliament’s (EP) recent move to approve a resolution stating that Hungary is no longer a “full democracy.” That nonbinding EP vote from last week cited Hungary’s failures to uphold “respect for human dignity, freedom, democracy, equality, the rule of law, and respect for human rights, including the rights of persons belonging to minorities” – as the text reads, in repetition of prior EP statements.

A Fidesz statement said in response: “It is unforgivable that, while people are suffering from the severe economic effects of wartime inflation and misguided sanctions, the European Parliament is attacking Hungary again.”

September 20, 2022 Posted by | Economics, Russophobia | , | 1 Comment

Hungary to Ask Europe to Stop Escalation of Ukrainian Crisis, Foreign Minister Says

Samizdat – 30.08.2022

BUDAPEST – Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto stated on Tuesday that he will ask Europe to stop any actions that escalate the crisis in Ukraine.

“A the meeting of the EU foreign ministers today I will ask that we finally reject the proposals that entail the threat of further escalation… and that we focus on establishing peace in Europe,” Szijjarto said ahead of the informal ministerial meeting in Prague.

According to the minister, if there is no peace in Ukraine in the near future, the consequences of this conflict will be even more tragic, with more people becoming refugees, and Europe facing an unprecedented crisis. The question of Europe’s energy supply will become even more serious, Szijjarto said.

Earlier, Russia sent a note to NATO countries over arms supplies to Ukraine. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov stressed that any cargo that contains weapons for Ukraine will become a legitimate target for Russia. The Russian Foreign Ministry said that NATO countries were “playing with fire” by supplying weapons to Ukraine. Russian presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov noted that pumping Ukraine with weapons from the West does not contribute to the success of Russian-Ukrainian negotiations and will only have a negative effect.

August 30, 2022 Posted by | Militarism, Russophobia | , , | 1 Comment

Hungary Urges Foreign Ambassadors to Act Like Diplomats, Not Viceroys

By Ilya Tsukanov | Samizdat | August 29, 2022

Hungary has stood alone among its neighbors in refusing to slap new sanctions on Moscow, and has rejected demands by Brussels to rapidly cut dependence on Russian energy supplies. Budapest has also denied access to its territory for Western arms delivery to Ukraine, saying the security crisis can only be resolved through talks.

Hungary will independently determine what policies it will pursue, and foreign ambassadors should do their duty instead of lecturing Budapest, Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto has urged.

“We do not send viceroys to other countries, but ambassadors…and receive ambassadors, not viceroys,” Szijjarto said in a meeting with Hungarian diplomats.

“And in the future we will not tolerate it if a representative of some other country decides that that they can teach us about a different or better life. Thanks very much, but we aren’t asking for that. We can determine ourselves how we should live in Hungary. The Hungarian electorate regularly decides this question in elections,” the foreign minister said.

Szijjarto warned foreign diplomats stationed in Budapest that any ambassador who sees themselves as a viceroy rather than a diplomat will “have difficulties,” because Hungary will not bow to any “bad compromises.”

Hungary, Szijjarto said, has based its foreign policy on mutual respect, and will continue to do so. “This means that we have behaved as representatives of a national government with a thousand year history and the corresponding self-confidence, giving respect to our partners and expecting the same respect in return.”

Hungary summoned Estonia’s ambassador to Budapest earlier this month over what Hungary’s Foreign Ministry characterized as “unacceptable’ comments made by politicians in Tallinn, who have criticized Hungary over its foreign policy vis-à-vis Ukraine and Russia.

Budapest has demonstrated its domestic and foreign policy independence for more than a decade, with the government of Prime Minister Viktor Orban getting into spats with Brussels on a broad range of issues from immigration to a move to kick a George Soros-funded university out of the country.

After the escalation of the Ukraine crisis in February, Hungary hesitated in signing on to the raft of new European Union sanctions against Russia, refused to allow convoys of NATO military equipment to use the country to transfer weapons to Kiev, and has continued to buy Russian oil and gas, warning that the Central European country’s economy would collapse otherwise.

Last month, summarizing the impact of months of Brussels’ policy, Orban reveled in the correctness of his approach, comparing the West’s policy vis-à-vis Russia to a “car with flat tires on all four tires” and pointing out that sanctions had made no change in Moscow’s course, but only cost Europe four governments.

Orban also warned last month that Europe would be turned into a “war economy” by October if Brussels didn’t change course on its “ineffective” sanctions against Russia and weapons deliveries to Ukraine. “You do not usually put out fires with flamethrowers,” he stressed.

Hungary’s unique approach to the Ukrainian crisis also stems in part from Budapest’s bad blood with its neighbor over its treatment of ethnic Hungarian Ukrainians following the 2014 Maidan coup, after which the minority gradually lost its right to receive an education in its native tongue.

In June, a vicious back-and-forth war or words broke out between Ukrainian and Hungarian officials after Hungarian parliamentary speaker Laszlo Kover suggested that Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky was suffering from a “mental problem” accounting for his government’s undiplomatic approach to asking Western countries for help against Russia.

August 29, 2022 Posted by | Economics | , | Leave a comment