Politico examines the “two-faced” nature of Viktor Orbán’s regime, noting how the Hungarian Prime Minister “demonizes the EU and spreads pro-Russian narratives” while also voting for sanctions against Russia and implementing anti-corruption-related reforms to appease the EU.
“I think there is a charm offensive there, but it’s just because they want to get the money,” German MEP Moritz Körner told the media outlet about funds being held back by the EU due to problems with the rule of law in Hungary.
And yet Körner recognizes deeper problems with the Orbán regime, telling Politico, “At some point, we have to deal with the fact that we’re facing an autocrat.”
A diplomat from a Western country pointed out that although Orbán rails against the EU and sanctions against Russia at home, “his ambassador stayed quiet as a mouse” when meeting with the EU over sanctions discussions this past week.
Finnish European Affairs Minister Tytti Tuppurainen said that the strength of the EU rests in its unity. “Sanctions are decided unanimously, which means that each and every member state has her say. Hungary has made her mark in the process,” the minister informed the news outlet by text message.
Hungarian MEP Attila Ara-Kovács, from the opposition Democratic Coalition, claimed that Orbán’s policies are “no longer just about the dismantling of the democratic system in Hungary, but about the security and future of Europe as a whole.” [HVG]