Hungarian-Slovak relations at all-time high, according to PMs Orbán and Fico

Slovakia's Prime Minister Robert Fico and Hungary's Prime Minister Viktor Orban shake hands after a press conference at the Carmelite Monastery in Budapest, Hungary, Tuesday, Jan. 16, 2024. (AP Photo/Denes Erdos)
By John Cody
3 Min Read

Relations between Hungary and Slovakia have never been as good as they are now because the two countries are linked within the European Union in a way that strengthens each other in terms of physical, economic and energy security, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán said after talks with Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico in Budapest on Tuesday.

At a joint press conference with the Slovak prime minister, Orbán stressed that the interests of Hungary and Slovakia are at least 99 percent aligned, and sovereignty is important for both countries.

“On the Hungarian side, and I feel that there is an identity here, we are not happy with the superstate initiatives from Brussels. We are not happy at all with the efforts to legitimize illegal migration, we want to protect our borders, and we want to decide who we let into our country,” he added.

The Hungarian prime minister thanked Fico for the regular help provided by Slovak police officers in protecting Hungary’s southern borders, adding that in return Hungary would be happy to contribute to support with air surveillance and policing in Slovak airspace from the beginning of this year.

In response to questions from journalists, Orbán said that the European Council presidency was an easy task, as both Hungary and he had already performed this task in no less difficult times.

“We have experience on how to assert our national position without compromising our role as a mediator as president-in-office of the Council,” he stressed. He added that he and his Slovakian counterpart had agreed that the Hungarian minister responsible for European affairs would work closely with his Slovakian counterpart in the run-up to the presidency.

Slovakia sides with Hungary against Brussels

Slovakia does not support any restrictions on Hungary’s rights in the European Union, Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico has said.

Speaking at a joint press conference with the Hungarian prime minister, Fico said that there was great concern about the current turmoil surrounding the Hungarian and Slovak governments, as the European Parliament is set to adopt a declaration on Wednesday on changes to the Slovak criminal code and the abolition of the special prosecutor’s office. In this context, he criticized Slovak opposition MEPs who he said were damaging the whole country in order to harm the government.

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