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"Orban threatens Ukraine" - Hungary finds itself in cross-hairs once again

Magyar Nemzet
2023.09.26. 13:01 2023.09.26. 13:28
 "Orban threatens Ukraine" - Hungary finds itself in cross-hairs once again

After Prime Minister Viktor Orban's speech to parliament at the start of the autumn session, the international press once again focused on Hungary.

Reuters highlighted a number of topics from the speech, including Sweden’s NATO membership and issues with Ukraine. “Orban also said Hungary was in no rush to ratify Sweden's NATO accession,” the news agency wrote. In his speech, Viktor Orban actually said that he saw no circumstance that would urge Sweden to join NATO, when he talked about a Swedish educational film discrediting Hungary. 

Hungary clashed with Ukraine over what it says are curbs on the rights of roughly 150,000 ethnic Hungarians to use their native tongue, especially in education,

the news agency wrote, simplifying the serious problems of ethnic Hungarians living in Transcarpathia. "We do not support Ukraine in any issue in the international scene until it restores the laws that guarantee the rights of Hungarians," Reuters quoted PM Orban as saying.

"Hungary is a member of NATO and opposes Russia's invasion of Ukraine, but Orban, in power since 2010, has cultivated close relations with Russia," the news agency remarked.

Ukrainian newspaper Ukrayinska Pravda, of course, also took note of Viktor Orban's remarks about Ukraine and the situation of Hungarian minorities in the country.

The title of the newspaper’s article made no secret of the paper's disapproval: “Orban has once again threatened Ukraine over the rights of the Hungarian minority.”

The authors of the article apparently resented the Hungarian prime minister's statement that Budapest will not support Ukraine's NATO membership until the rights of the Transcarpathian Hungarians are restored.

"We have seen that if Ukraine does not give up its desire to join NATO, then it is only a matter of time before we have to face another conflict which will also jeopardize all energy supplies from Russia. Because of this, we have raised our relations with Central Asia to a strategic and amicable level. In 2018 Hungary also joined the political and economic community of the Turkic Council as an observer. As a result neither the Russia-Ukraine war, nor the terrorist attack on the Nord Stream pipeline - presumably, a state-backed terrorist attack - have produced an insurmountable challenge in terms of Hungary's energy supplies," the news outlet picked out another section of the speech.

Meanwhile, the US business daily Bloomberg criticized Viktor Orban's statements on the Hungarian National Bank and the Hungarian government's fight against inflation.

The government now attempts to take credit for the measures aiming to rein in inflation, while it is increasingly in conflict with the central bank and its governor, according to the portal.

Energy prices and the Brussels sanctions have raised inflation in Hungary to such a degree that the central bank is unable to cope with it, Hungary’s premier said on Monday. "In the summer, the government adopted important economic decisions. The government’s goal is to bring inflation down to a single digit by the end of the year," Viktor Orban stated.

Cover photo: Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban addresses parliament at the start of its autumn session (Photo: Zoltan Mathe)

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