The Hungarian Ministry of Defense confirmed to Euractiv yesterday evening that it had canceled the meeting of V4 defense ministers scheduled to take place March 30-31 in Budapest.
Earlier in the day, the Slovak Ministry of Defense stated that the meeting was being canceled by the Hungarian side. Euractiv quoted the Slovaks as having received information that “the in-person meeting will be held at a later date.”
Indications that the meeting was in trouble began last Friday, when Czech Defense Minister Jana Černochová declined her participation in the meeting that was supposed to start today.
Černochová suggested that Hungary’s position on the war was to blame, writing on Twitter, “I am very sorry that cheap Russian oil is now more important to Hungarian politicians than Ukrainian blood.”
Hungarian Minister of Defense Tibor Benkő reacted to this news by saying that his colleague in Prague was not at the NATO summit, and that anyway she did not speak English.
Polish Defense Minister Mariusz Błaszczak also declined to take part in the meeting, citing official Hungarian rhetoric on the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
The events are the latest sign that Hungary’s relationship with its V4 partners, which it has put such a high priority on maintaining, has been ruptured by its openly pro-Russian position.