Hungary and its government were criticised by Washington for the second time in the past two weeks.
Chuck Schumer, the Senate Majority Leader, is not the only influential American politician who recently called the Hungarian government authoritarian. A former Secretary of State and the current Chair of the U.S. Senate Committee on Foreign Relations both have the same opinion.
Although he did not directly speak to Hungary,
Meanwhile, Péter Szijjártó, the Hungarian Minister of Foreign Affairs, says that bilateral relations between the two countries will be successfully developed in the future.
“If one political party believes that when you lose an election, the answer isn’t to win more votes but rather to try and prevent the other side from voting, we have an existential threat to democracy on our hands.
If we don’t stop these vicious and often racist action, third-world autocracy like Erdogan’s Turkey or Orbán’s Hungary will be on its way,”
said the Democratic Senator on Wednesday. One of the main subjects of the committee meeting was how certain American states will introduce stricter measures concerning campaign finance and voting rights. The frightening example of Hungary and Turkey was used in this context.
He also mentioned the talks between the Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, and Foreign Ministers of the Visegrád Four on Tuesday, in relation to the NATO meetings. It was after these talks when Péter Szijjártó talked so positively about the future.
“In the upcoming period, we will successfully develop the relations between Hungary and the United States, based on mutual respect…The fact that the United States initiated the talk with the Visegrád Four shows that Central Europe can be on the radar of American foreign policy and it is very good news for us.”
Before the talks on Tuesday, the Foreign Affairs Office of the U.S. said to a question of Magyar Hang that they were ready for cooperation although they had some concerns.
“The United States is ready for cooperation with Hungary in joint matters such as security, law enforcement, economy, and the field of energetics.
However, during our talks with the Hungarian delegate, we will raise our concerns related to democratic institutions, human rights, and Hungary’s international obligations.”
The political situation of Hungary was also on the agenda of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations about two weeks ago.
The Chair of the Committee, Robert Menendez, also listed Hungary as a country with authoritarian leadership, putting it on a list together with Turkey, Venezuela, and the Philippines.
A former Secretary of State from the ’90s, the first female Secretary of State of the U.S, Madeleine Albright, joined the aforementioned politicians in this opinion. She said that PM Viktor Orbán is restricting democracy and building nationalism.
It is very interesting and exciting that at almost every level of the American government, we can find politicians either with Hungarian origins or with personal experience related to the country. President Joe Biden personally visited Hungary back in his days as a senator, and he actively followed the regime change and supported the transatlantic integration of Hungary. Here you can read more about the current Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, and his very personal relationship with Hungary. Former Secretary of State and current Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry also has Hungarian origins, just like Anne Neuberger, the National Security Advisor.