Hungarian President Katalin Novak on Saturday condemned Russia’s invasion of Ukraine during her inauguration ceremony and said she would make her first trip to Poland, in a bid to rebuild relations with Warsaw, according to Reuters.
Hungary’s refusal to send arms shipments to neighboring Ukraine and its opposition to a planned EU embargo on Russian oil imports weighed on relations between Budapest and Warsaw, whose two nationalist governments have long been allies in the EU.
“On Tuesday, May 17, I will travel to Warsaw to meet with the President of the Polish People. Mr. President, dear Andrzej (Duda), thank you for the opportunity to discuss properly between friends! ”, Said Novak in his speech, according to jurnalul.ro.
“We condemn Putin’s aggression, the armed invasion of a sovereign state. We are forever saying no to any effort to restore the Soviet Union, “she added.
Hungarian president strongly condemns Russian invasion of Ukraine and believes war is waged against Hungarians
She said the war in Ukraine had also been “waged against us, peace-loving Hungarians”, adding that Hungary had called for war crimes to be investigated and punished.
Katalin Novak, a former Fidesz MP and ally of Prime Minister Viktor Orban, was elected president in March, shortly before Orban won another landslide victory in the April 3 election.
Hungary’s first female president, Novak, served as Fidesz’s vice president and was Minister of Family Affairs in Orban’s previous government.
Orban also condemned Russia’s attack on Ukraine, but avoided personal criticism of President Vladimir Putin and strongly opposed any sanctions against Russian energy.
Dependence on Russian oil in Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Hungary and Slovakia is the biggest obstacle to an embargo agreement proposed by the European Commission, the EU executive, in early May in response to Russia’s February 24 invasion of Ukraine.
Poland has distanced itself from Hungary over Russia’s intervention in Ukraine after Viktor Orban failed to denounce the conflict launched by Vladimir Putin on February 24, 2022.
One of Poland’s top politicians, Jarosław Kaczyński, criticized Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán on Friday for refusing to condemn Russia for the massacre of civilians in Bukea, Ukraine.
“My assessment is unequivocally negative, I must admit that everything is very sad,” Kaczyński, deputy prime minister and leader of the ruling Law and Justice Party, told Radio Plus. “When Orbán says he can’t see what happened to Bucea, he should be advised to go to an ophthalmologist,” he said.
In his first press conference after winning a fourth term, Orbán said he had called on Russian President Vladimir Putin to call for an “immediate ceasefire” in Ukraine, but also refused to condemn. Russia explicitly linked the Bucea events, saying that an investigation should come first, because “we live in a period of mass manipulation,” according to Politico.
After Russian troops withdrew last week from Bukea, a city on the outskirts of Kiev, Ukrainian authorities found roads full of bodies of people who had been tied up and shot at close range, as well as mass graves of locals. Russian officials have repeatedly rejected allegations that their troops are responsible, with Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov saying on Tuesday that the scenes were a “challenge” for Ukraine to disrupt the ongoing peace talks.
The war in Ukraine strained the usually close alliance between Poland and Hungary, with Orbán’s close and ongoing ties with Putin drawing Warsaw’s anger in particular. Poland has been one of Europe’s strongest supporters of a Russian energy embargo, while Hungary has rejected such a move, calling it a “red line”, according to epicnews.ro.
Poland disagrees with Hungary on Russia’s intervention in Ukraine, but Viktor Orban has been conciliatory with Poles recently
However, Orbán took a conciliatory tone towards Warsaw in his speech on Wednesday, saying that “Hungary’s alliance with Poland must be strengthened, because we cannot stand alone in this storm.”
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