Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán’s refusal to ship weapons to Ukraine has put him at odds with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, but now there are reports that his government is actively looking to influence the upcoming April 3 election in favor of Orbán’s rival left-wing opposition.
At the meeting of foreign ministers in Brussels on Mar. 21, Hungarian Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó stated that Hungary would not supply arms to Ukraine nor allow arms shipments to pass through Hungary.
Magyar Nemzet news outlet found out that after the resolution of the head of Hungarian diplomacy, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmitro Kuleba called the Ukrainian ambassador to Budapest, Ljubov Nepop, and asked her about how to help the left-wing opposition led by Péter Márki-Zay to win the election.
The Hungarian newspaper received the information from a national security source that there was contact between the staff of Márki-Zay and Zelensky.
Following this discussion between the Ukrainians and Hungary’s left-wing opposition , Zelensky, who addressed the European Council on Mar. 24 via video, addressed Orbán in a rather unusual style of diplomacy.
“Listen, Viktor, do you know what is happening in Mariupol now? If you can, go down to the (Danube) river bank and look at your shoes. You will see that such massacres are still happening in the world right now. Russia is still doing this today,” he said.
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The Ukrainian president then asked the Hungarian prime minister why he was hesitant to impose sanctions, hand over weapons to Ukraine, and why he faced a “dilemma” over whether to trade with Russia.
“Hungary wants to stay out of this war, so it will not allow arms shipments or send weapons to Ukraine,” the head of the prime minister’s press department said, stressing that Hungary is using all means to help those fleeing the war.
“There can be no Russian tentacles in Europe stretching the union from within and still trying to help Russia make as much money as possible. Everyone knows who is facing humanity and common sense in the EU, who is doing nothing for the peace of Ukraine. It must end, and Europe must no longer listen to the Hungarian government’s objections,” Zelensky said in a video message sent to Danish MPs.
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In the light of the above, the behind-the-scenes cooperation between Zelensky and Mark-Zay is not surprising that the candidate for prime minister of the left has repeatedly stated that he would send weapons and Hungarian soldiers to Ukraine. They both governments profit from the current administration of the U.S.
However, the big question is how Zelensky can help the campaign of the Hungarian left-wing prime minister candidate. One form of this could be the kind of rhetorical warfare and pressure that began at the European Council meeting against the Hungarian government and then continued with a message to Danish parliamentarians.
Orbán said of the left-wing politicians who demanded arms transfers and military participation have “no knowledge, and lack a sense of responsibility.”
“With their irresponsible statements, they only pour oil on the fire,” Orbán said.