(MTI) – Hungary’s interest is to resolve the disputes with the Norwegian government successfully and as fast as possible, and it rejects claims questioning Hungary’s commitment to democratic values, a letter from the prime minister’s office said.
The letter, addressed to the European Union, NATO and to OECD member states, as well as to ambassadors to Hungary, responded to remarks by Norwegian Minister for Europe Vidal Helgesen published in the Financial Times earlier in the week.
Helgesen in his letter accused the Hungarian government of “turning its back on the west.” Citing a recent speech by prime minister Viktor Orban, Helgesen said Orban wanted to “build a ‘spiritual Iron Dome’ against foreign influence, break with the dogmas and ideologies accepted in western Europe and instead establish an illiberal state”.
Helgesen added that he was “puzzled and disappointed that a response from the EU institutions has been largely lacking” and urged the EU to “demonstrate in no uncertain terms that it will not accept the re-establishment of an illiberal state within its borders.”
The Prime Minister’s Office said in its response letter that there was a dispute between Hungary and Norway regarding changes in the Hungarian institutional system linked to the management of the Norway Civil Funds. The Norwegian government has shown no signs of willingness to cooperate or respond to Hungary’s concerns over certain practices in the distribution of support from Norway, the letter said.
Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein decided on May 9 to suspend further disbursement of funds to Hungary over concerns about the Hungarian government’s introduction of changes to the distribution of such funds.