Hungary’s political opposition parties issued a joint statement calling on Viktor Orbán to cancel his visit with Vladimir Putin in Moscow on February 1.
Considering the heightened situation around the conflict in Ukraine, the opposition believes that the Hungarian Prime Minister’s friendly meeting with President Putin is clearly detrimental and contrary to national interests.
Viktor Orbán’s visit, and the fact that he has not cancelled the trip despite the situation, sends a message that NATO and EU member states are not unified in rejecting Putin’s proposals.
-read the joint statement. They claim that the meeting will only encourage Putin to escalate tensions.
The parties are also concerned about decisive steps being taken with regards to the construction of the Paks 2 nuclear reactor project, as well as a new gas agreement unfavorable for Hungary that could be signed.
In the statement, opposition parties called for the government to take a stand for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine, noting that it is in Hungary’s interest for the ethnic Hungarian minority in Transcarpathia not to have to face the threat of war.
Recent news reports indicate that Russia has lined up 100,000 troops near the Ukrainian border, which Kiev believes could invade the country to prevent it from joining NATO. While Russia denies any intent to overrun the country, Russian forces invaded Ukraine’s Crimean peninsula in 2014, and has been covertly supporting East Ukrainian separatist forces ever since.
In the past few days, the United States has begun sending military equipment to Ukraine, and Britain and the US have also asked the family members of their diplomatic staff to leave the country. Hungary has not called for any of its diplomats or family members to come home yet, nor has it changed its travel policies with respect to Ukraine. [Telex]