Hungary may continue facing major pressure from the West


The advisor to Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán described the pressure several European leaders put on the country to accept Ukraine’s European financing plan. This provides an insight into the fanatical position adopted by Brussels that they would rather blackmail Orbán than support his pursuit for peace between Moscow and Kiev.

“Several European Union heads of state directly threatened Viktor Orbán, Prime Minister of Hungary, with the collapse of the Hungarian economy if he continued to block a €50 billion economic aid package for Ukraine,” said an advisor to the Hungarian leader in an interview published on February 10 in the Austrian newspaper Exxpress.

The advisor, Balázs Orbán (no relation to Viktor Orbán), revealed that several EU leaders called the Hungarian prime minister and “blatantly made him exactly that threat.”

“The EU really wanted to blackmail Hungary,” he said.

“Important politicians called my prime minister and explained this to him openly,” he continued, adding that “we reject this approach. It contradicts the basic idea of ​​the EU. This is a ‘de facto’ political violation.”

The Hungarian prime minister’s advisor made it clear that “we […] are not afraid. We believe that the Hungarian economy is strong enough.”

He said that the concessions obtained by his government were important and that with them, Budapest would now “receive information about what happens with the money [allocated to Kiev], and we will be able to talk about it every year.”

“We negotiated a control mechanism to ensure the rational use of funds and obtained guarantees that Hungary’s money would not go to Ukraine,” he said.

European bloc members finally approved financial assistance to Kiev on February 1 after Budapest lifted its veto in exchange for some concessions from the other countries. Brussels’ plan to sink the Hungarian currency and cause a collapse in investor confidence in an attempt to “damage jobs and growth” in Hungary if it did not agree to the measures was reported by the British newspaper Financial Times.

The plan declared that “in the case of no agreement in the February 1 [summit], other heads of state and government would publicly declare that in the light of the unconstructive behaviour of the Hungarian PM… they cannot imagine that” EU funds would be provided to Budapest.

Hungary’s EU minister Janos Boka told the newspaper at the time that Budapest was not aware of the financial threat but that the country “does not give in to pressure.”

From the perspective of Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto, Hungary is being attacked for taking an independent position on the issue of sanctions and economic ties with Russia, refusing to supply Kiev with weapons, and repeatedly calling for negotiations between Moscow and Kiev.

“[W]e always made clear that the only way to save the lives of the people in and around Ukraine is to come to the end of this war as soon as possible. And the only way you can do that is a ceasefire and peace talks. That’s our position,” Szijjarto said on February 9. “We are under enormous attack for this position of ours in the transatlantic community.”

“Hungary has never been part and we will never be part of any actions which aim at delivering weapons to Ukraine. Simply because we do believe that the more weapons are being delivered to Ukraine, the longer the war will take and the longer the war takes more destruction will take place and more people will die,” the foreign minister added.

Although EU leaders agreed to allocate 50 billion euros as part of macro-financial assistance to Ukraine for the period until 2027, Szijjarto stressed that it was because of Hungary’s conditions that the money was not covering any weapons deliveries. According to him, a transparent mechanism will be created to control the expenditure of funds allocated to Ukraine.

Despite Budapest’s pursuit of peace, Orbán still remains a realist and expressed in a recent conversation with former Austrian Chancellor Wolfgang Schüssel that although his government is committed to advocating for a ceasefire and peace talks during Hungary’s upcoming presidency of the Council of European Union, which commences on July 1, he cast a shadow on the prospects of a swift resolution and predicted that it will continue beyond 2024.

It is difficult to predict when the war in Ukraine will end, but Orbán likely predicts that Donald Trump will return to the presidency after winning the upcoming US presidential election, which would mean that a peaceful resolution cannot be reached until then. If this estimation turns out to be true, this would mean that Orbán and Hungary would continue facing major pressure from the West until Trump enters the White House in January 2025.


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