Orbán chose the Rouble - The Weekly 91
Last week I asked which way Hungary was going: to the east or to the west, or, symbolically, towards the Euro or the Rouble? Orbán soon answered the question: as the first European leader to do so, he announced Budapest was willing to pay for the Russian gas in roubles.
While the world was astounded by the lurid images of the shocking massacre committed by the Russian army in Bucha and Irpin, Budapest was engulfed in a completely different atmosphere. Talking quite openly in his post-election speech, Viktor Orbán named Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy as one of his enemies. The next day the Hungarian government pocketed Putin’s and Lukashenka’s congratulations and continued inciting against Ukraine.
Foreign Minister Péter Szíjjártó summoned the Ukrainian ambassador because he felt offended by how the Kyiv government was trying to ask for more active assistance from Hungary, just like from the other EU member states.
He also used the break during the negotiations in Brussels to call on Kyiv to “stop insulting the Hungarian people” by constantly issuing all kinds of requests.
It is a fact that Ukraine has been asking a lot from Europe over the past weeks and it is also a fact that these requests aren’t always firmly grounded in reality. Their wording is not always the most diplomatic, either. On the other hand, it is easy to see that the Kyiv government officials are just people whose homeland was attacked and who were barely a few miles from where civilians were massacred by the Russian army.
Furthermore, the fall of their capital was a very realistic scenario just a few days ago.
Under these circumstances, Ukraine’s communication is understandable, unlike the diplomacy of the Hungarian government, which doesn’t seem to need any pressing circumstance to use a reprehensible tone with its partners on a daily basis, throwing the most insane allegations at them, but then feeling offended by Kyiv’s requests.
I believe this should make the EU really consider how much they are willing to tolerate Orbán’s more and more open commitment to Moscow and how much European interests are in line with the European Commission’s sabotaging the launch of the rule of law mechanism up until Orbán’s re-election.
Orbán is undoubtedly a traitor within the European Union. He refuses to accept European values and interests, which was ever more clearly demonstrated by his response to the current Ukrainian crisis.