Brussels turns Hungary ugly in meeting with head of Russian diplomacy in New York

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For some time now, the European Union has watched with concern – and growing fatigue – twenty seven . Hungary’s continued unchecking from the status of To Russia for its military offensive in Ukraine. The fact that it did it again amid rising tensions, with Russia wielding nuclear weapons against the West, has ended Brussels’ patience. The European Commission has turned Hungary ugly this Friday by the decision that its foreign minister, Peter Sizzarto, met with his Russian counterpart, Sergei Lavrov, on the margins of the UN General Assembly in New York.

As the Hungarian government revealed on social networks, Viktor Orbán’s head of diplomacy, who visited Moscow this summer in the midst of the war, is the only EU minister to have broken the European consensus not to speak face-to-face. . with the Russian representative at the annual meeting in New York; East He also gave up his seat on the Security Council That’s when other participants took the stage during a special meeting dedicated to Ukraine.

Foreign Affairs Commission spokesman Peter Stano said this Friday: “There is a general consensus in the EU that, for the time being, there is no point in establishing bilateral or EU-level relations with Russian representatives at the United Nations.” in Brussels. However, ultimately, it is each Member State’s “responsibility, capacity and decision” to decide who or not to meet with in New York, the appointment being “with reference to recent stages of growth”. . [Vladímir] Putin who clearly demonstrates to the entire international community, including the European Union and its member states, that he is not interested in peace, but only in continuing this illegal war with consequences for the whole world,” he recalled. Too, Russian president “threatening to use nuclear weapons”, In an effort to “intimidate countries that support Ukraine” with European neighbors. And that is, the spokesman outlined in recent days, calling EU chiefs “irresponsible and unacceptable” to Europe.

In his face-to-face meeting with Lavrov in New York, the Hungarian minister acknowledged that it is “unlikely” to hold peace talks at this time, although he insisted that “peace will not be achieved without dialogue,” the state assured the Secretary of International Communications of the Hungarian Government on Friday, Zoltan Kovacs, on Twitter. In a series of messages on social networks, the spokesperson also highlighted that Szczárto had been “the only EU foreign minister to meet Lavrov” and justified this open line of dialogue by indicating that “the Hungarian people And the economy needs Russian energy. Winter.” “You may like the fact or not, but it’s still a fact,” according to the head of the Hungarian Diplomacy, who also posted a video of the meeting with his Russian counterpart on his Facebook account.

The two saw each other last July in Moscow, When Zsizzarto made a surprise visit to the Russian capital and asked the Kremlin to increase its gas shipments to Hungary, whose government within twenty-seven remains one of Putin’s main supporters. The visit came just a day after the European Commission asked to save electricity for next winter in the midst of a “gas war” with Russia.

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Hungary has also been the country that has put up the most hurdles in sanctioning Russia for the war in Ukraine, although, as Brussels recalled this Friday, “all 27 member states” of the European Union at an emergency meeting in New York let agreed. This week to send more weapons to Ukraine and propose a new package of sanctions “as soon as possible”. However, Orban has once again thrown a stone into European gear: the ultra-nationalist leader announced that he was going to hold a “national consultation” on the appropriateness of the sanctions, something which Brussels views with skepticism. “There is a very specific legal framework when it comes to imposing sanctions, it’s a process set by treaties and EU law, it’s not something that needs to be voted on,” the Commission recalled this Friday through its spokespersons. Can be done on a collection basis.”

The pulse between Budapest and Brussels is long and goes beyond their alliance with Russia: it comes from the authoritarian drift of the ultra-conservative Fidesz party’s government. this week, Commission proposes suspension of €7,500 million of EU reconciliation fund In order to promote “systematic corruption” in the management of funds from the Community Budget for Hungary, a fact that has promised the immediate application of 17 corrective measures to Budapest in great need of these funds. However, Brussels has made it clear that it expects much more than promises.

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