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Hungary – European Union. Viktor Orban's government “humiliated twice”

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Viktor Orban's government, at the very beginning of Hungary's presidency of the European Union, suffered two serious humiliations from the European Commission and the European Parliament, believes former Hungarian foreign minister Peter Balazs. He also comments on Orban's recent visit to Kiev.

European Commission representatives will not visit Budapest in July, and a personal meeting of commissioners with members of the Hungarian government has been postponed until an unspecified date in September, Hungarian media reported in recent days. Orban is also unlikely to deliver a speech to the European Parliament at its inaugural session (July 16) due to the tight schedule.

EU Council President Charles Michel and Viktor Orban in BrusselsNICOLAS LANDEMARD/PAP/EPA

Visit to Kiev

According to Peter Balazs, former EU Commissioner and Minister of Foreign Affairs in 2009-2010 Hungarianthese are two “humiliations” for Orban's government, as both the visit of the European Commission at the beginning of the presidency and the speech at the European Parliament have been a custom so far. The inability to present the presidency program in the European Parliament is an even greater “humiliation” than the absence of the EC in Budapest – the politician said.

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On Tuesday, the day after Hungary took over the six-month presidency of the EU Council, Orban went to Kiev. It was the first trip by a high-ranking Hungarian politician to the Ukrainian capital since the beginning of the Russian military invasion.

“Hungary wants to sign a broad cooperation agreement with Ukraine and believes that a ceasefire by Ukraine in the war with Russia could speed up peace negotiations,” Orban said in Kiev.

Viktor Orban and Volodymyr Zelensky during a meeting in Kiev PAP/EPA

The Hungarian Prime Minister wanted to signal with his visit that during his country's presidency of the EU he will be “slightly more flexible”, assessed the former head of Hungarian diplomacy, adding that the government in Budapest had so far repeated the Russian narrative on the issue. wars in Ukraine and did everything to slow down or block EU aid to Kiev.

Orban's proposal “very Russian”

According to Balazs, Orban's peace proposal to the president Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky is “very Russian”, as it recalls the Kremlin's position on the ceasefire and negotiations. – I am not aware of any mandate that Orban would receive from the EU or FOR THISto come up with such an initiative, the politician said.

Orban's visit to Kiev itself was a breakthrough, said Peter Balazs, recalling that Orban was last in Ukraine over a decade ago.

Balazs believes that the Hungarian Foreign Minister's phone call Peter Szijjarto to his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov on the day of Orban's visit is “a very strange coincidence”. As he emphasized, some interpretations of this step say that Szijjarto passed on the arrangements from Kiev to the Russian side, although it is not really known what he discussed with Lavrov.

– However, there is no doubt that relations between Budapest and Moscow remain close, as evidenced by, among other things, the frequency of high-level meetings between politicians and the broadcasting of the Russian narrative on the war in Ukraine by Hungarian public media, Balazs said.

Orban also wanted to improve his reputation by traveling to Kiev after his party's attitude to Ukraine Fidesz was not admitted to the European Conservatives and Reformists (ECR) group in the European Parliament, noted the former EU commissioner.

Hungary will set the tone in the EU. How will Orban use it?Jakub Loska/Facts about the World TVN24 BiS


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