MEP Márton Gyöngyösi’s (Non-attached) thoughts via press release:
April 12 of 2023 was an eventful day in Hungary. Foreign Minister Péter Szíjjártó had just returned from Moscow to host his Belarusian colleague in Budapest, taking no more than two days to tick off both states that are held responsible by the western world for the aggression in Ukraine.
In the meantime, the United States of America started an outdoor media campaign in Hungary to counterbalance the Budapest government’s propaganda machine and show Hungarians the real reasons for the Ukraine war.
This is a highly unusual step indeed, but it’s equally uncommon for a NATO member state government to consequently take a pro-Moscow stance and call for Ukraine’s surrender on a weekly basis – but that’s exactly what’s going on in Hungary.
Meanwhile, the United States’ Budapest Ambassador David Pressman, unusually for a diplomat, called for a press conference to announce sanctions against certain entities located in Hungary. Although the sanctions weren’t nearly as serious as some people expected based on the media reports, the ban on the Russian spy bank and its Budapest operatives, including a Hungarian diplomat, is an important message.
Sanctioning obscure bureaucrats never shakes the foundations of any regime, but the series of events is a clear indication of the path Hungary is taking.
The space of the country’s foreign minister is slowly reduced to that of a rogue nation: he is hardly welcome anywhere but in Moscow and Minsk. At the same time, the United States thinks it has to use outdoor media to fight the Russian disinformation so eagerly spread by the Fidesz government. And even if the sanctions have not hit the big fish yet, they clearly may be able to do so in the future.
Disclaimer: the sole liability for the opinions stated rests with the author(s). These opinions do not necessarily reflect the official position of the European Parliament.