On February 22, 2022, when Russia launched an attack on Ukraine, 1 euro was worth 355 hungarian forint, and just a few days before it was also down at 353 forints. Because of the scary news of the war, the forint started to fly deep: first, it jumped to the level of 380, then from there it reached the level of 400, losing more than 10% of its value at that point in just a few days, breaking records. Fortunately, in the last 2 days, the Forint is back to the 380 level, but that still seems like a huge change for many families and businesses.
Opposition politicians accuse Orbán
Opposition politicians in Hungary, of course, accuse Viktor Orbán and his former anti-Western, pro-Russian policy, and many also attack the finance minister and the president of the National Bank, both of them previously held a regular stance in favor of preserving the Hungarian forint.
Hungary has been emphasizing for years that it is not currently preparing to adopt the euro and wants to maintain its monetary policy at the national level.
The 1 EUR = 400 HUF is the biggest change compared to the neighboring countries
Since the beginning of the war, all countries in the European Union that are not members of the eurozone have depreciated against the euro (except Bulgaria, where the leva has been pegged to the euro for more than two decades).
However, during this time, the value of the national currency has not decreased as much in any EU country as in Hungary. The value of the forint against the euro fell by more than 8 percent just until the 6th of March, becoming a leader on a list of doubtful glory. Among the neighboring countries, the currencies of Poland and the Czech Republic have suffered the most in the recent period: the zloty is 7.6% and the Czech koruna 5.3% less than the euro. On the 7th of March the trend continued, the Forint lost more of its value, writes lakmusz.hu.
Ukrainian hryvnia holds better
Interestingly, the Ukrainian hryvnia is more stylish, here the change is only about 3-4%, lower than in the aforementioned V4 countries. (The V4 is an association of Poland, Hungary, the Czech Republic, and Slovakia, of which Slovakia uses only the single European currency.)
Romania borders Ukraine for more than 600 kilometers and is also in indirect conflict with Russia over Moldova (2/3 of Moldova is Romanian and 1/3 is Russian-speaking). Despite all this, interestingly, the exchange rate of the Romanian leu has not changed at all against the euro, it is almost completely stable.
The euro is also weakening
Otherwise, the euro itself will weaken against the currencies of countries less affected by the war, and also against the indirect winners of the war (such as the United States or China). The reason for this is that Europe could be threatened by war, by extending it from Ukraine, or by turning the current Ukrainian-Russian war into a nuclear conflict, while China or the United States both can be winners of the war establishing new business opportunities while staying away from the conflict physically.