Hungary cancels the V4 meeting over other members' protest of its Ukraine policy
March 29. 2022. – 09:30 AM
Hungary has canceled the meeting of the V4 defence ministers, which was supposed to be held in Budapest on Wednesday, given that the allies have indicated their absence due to the Orbán government’s policy towards Ukraine – Telex’s partner Euractiv has reported.
According to preliminary information from the Slovak defence ministry, Hungary was forced to cancel this week's meeting because of strong diplomatic criticism, in addition to the Czech Republic and Poland having previously withdrawn from the Budapest meeting due to the Hungarian government’s lukewarm support of actions against Moscow.
“According to our preliminary information, there will be no meeting”
– the Slovak Defence Ministry informed Euractiv.sk Monday evening. Update: Following Euractiv’s Monday evening question, The Hungarian Ministry of Defence sent the following answer on Tuesday morning:
“Your information is correct. We would also like to inform you that the meeting will be rescheduled for a later date.”
At the same time, Poland’s Deputy Defence Minister, Wojciech Skurkiewicz said in a radio interview:
“The events surrounding the V4 do not provide a reason for optimism.”
Mariusz Blaszczak, Poland’s Defence Minister – following his Czech counterpart’s example – cancelled his participation Monday evening. Czech Defence Minister Jana Čerochová announced that she would not be attending last Friday.
“I have always supported the V4, and I am deeply saddened that cheap Russian oil is now more important to Hungarian politicians than the blood of Ukrainians”
– she wrote in her Twitter post on Friday.
It comes as no surprise then, that the Warsaw leadership has been turning against the Hungarian government more openly as well: their head of state, Andrzej Duda has said that it is hard for him to understand Orbán’s stance on Ukraine, and Deputy Foreign Minister Marcin Przydacz has stated that Orbán is making a mistake in his politics regarding Ukraine and Russia.
While the Orbán government has voted in favour of all four EU sanction packages against Russia, it has vehemently opposed sanctions on energy imports and has announced that it will not allow the transfer of weapons destined for Ukraine via Hungary. Budapest has also vehemently rejected calls to ban Russian energy exports.
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