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Something Amiss About the Four US Senators' Visit to Budapest

Said to be bipartisan yet a one-sided group of US senators is scheduled to arrive in Budapest.

2024. 02. 17. 16:14
orítókép: David Pressman amerikai nagykövet (Fotó: Dunántúli Napló/Laufer László)
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The US Embassy in Budapest announced that a US delegation of Democratic and Republican senators will arrive in Budapest on Sunday. The statement says that the visit will focus on "strategic issues confronting NATO and Hungary". Magyar Nemzet asked Rajmund Fekete, director of the Institute for the Research of Communism and a research fellow at the John Lukacs Institute of the Ludovika University of Public Service, about the visit.

"The group coming to Hungary was described as a bipartisan US congressional delegation focusing on NATO issues, but if you look at the political activities of the delegation members, there's something amiss," said Rajmund Fekete, adding that

three Democratic and one Republican senator will arrive in Budapest. What they have in common is that all four have repeatedly argued that Ukraine must be helped by all means to become a thriving European democracy again - whatever that means - and to rebuild after Russia's "war of aggression.

The director pointed out that the four senators have been "worried" about Hungary for years, with Soros's university or Sweden's accession to NATO at the centre of their concerns. In an earlier statement, Democratic Senator Jeanne Shaheen, a member of the delegation, welcomed Ambassador Pressman's efforts to push back against Hungary's "autocratic regime" and "democratic backsliding".

This statement comes as no surprise in light of the evidence that George Soros supported the senator's campaign with more than $500,000.

In connection with the main topic, Sweden's accession to NATO, Gergely Gulyas, the PM's chief of staff, said that negotiations with Sweden are promising. In response to inquiry from Magyar Nemzet, Hungarian Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Peter Szijjarto said that he is glad that the delegation is coming to Hungary, because they’ll be able to see with their own eyes that everything they read about Hungary in the liberal American media is a blatant lie. In January, Prime Minister Viktor Orban reaffirmed that the Hungarian government supports Sweden's NATO membership.

From the very first day of the Biden administration, the same ideological pressure that the Orban government experienced during Barack Obama's presidency is perceptible, simply because the government pursues national interests, Rajmund Fekete said. In an press interview in January, Ambassador David Pressman said that the US has the instruments to exert influence on Viktor Orban.

 Sending this kind of message to the prime minister of a sovereign country through the world's largest economic paper is unusual and improper, to say the least. It also shows that the ambassador is not exactly working to build relations between the two countries, but to drive a wedge between them.

No specific information was given on who the delegation will meet or what their program will be. Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto said he was not aware of the senators having any plans to meet anyone from Hungary’s government sector, noting that their counterparts were the Hungarian members of parliament.

This is not the first attempt to interfere in Hungary's domestic affairs. Take for instance the US ambassador accusing Hungary of anti-Semitism or undermining NATO's interests. However, the most serious interference took place when the US Action for Democracy supported the parliamentary election campaign of the Hungarian Left to the tune of more than four billion Hungarian forints, the director recalled.

It is no secret either that Viktor Orban supports Donald Trump in the US presidential elections coming up in November, which is a torn in the side of the current Democratic administration.

The current US administration is constantly seeking to put political pressure on Hungary over any decision that is a thorn in the side of the United States: be it the child protection law or the pro-peace stance on the Russia-Ukraine war,

Rajmund Fekete noted. 

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