Poland and Hungary find common ground on Ukraine and sanctions as presidents meet

Presidents of Hungary and Poland, Katalin Novak and Andrzej Duda, walk through the presidential Belweder Palace in Warsaw. (source: J. Szymczuk, KPRP via Twitter@prezydentpl)
By Grzegorz Adamczyk
3 Min Read

Poland’s President Andrzej Duda noted with pleasure that the first foreign visit of recently-appointed Hungarian President Katalin Novák was to Poland and expressed his belief that the pair share the same values.

The long meeting between the two presidents was focused on the discussion about sanctions and stopping the war in Ukraine. Duda expressed his hope that a formula would be worked out which would assure the Hungarians energy security and enable the country to back Russian oil sanctions — he did however admit that Hungary has a more complicated situation with regards to diversification of energy supplies than Poland.

Duda again pointed to Poland’s decisions on energy security that allowed it to diversify supplies of both gas and oil. This meant that “Poland is in a much more comfortable place to resist Russian blackmail” and contrasted this with Hungary’s dependence on Russian hydrocarbons

The Polish president also criticized the fact that the European Commission was withholding funds from both Hungary and Poland, and had not proposed any additional funding for refugees. 

Hungarian President Katlin Novak emphasized the importance of the Polish-Hungarian friendship and echoed Duda’s words about shared values such as family and Christian faith. She said that Russia’s aggression in Ukraine should be condemned as should any attempt to bring back the Soviet empire. 

The Hungarian president however emphasized her country was interested in trying to secure peace rather than winning wars, and reiterated that this was not Hungary’s war. She was nevertheless adamant that war criminals should be tried. 

Novák revealed that Hungary would support Ukrainian accession to the EU but reserved her country’s right to defend its own interests with regards to decisions being taken within NATO and the EU.

She made it clear that it was not acceptable to expect Hungary to suffer more pain than the aggressor of Russia over the sanctions regime. 

Finally, Novák said that Hungary was ready to mediate between Russia and Ukraine if the need arose, and vowed to continue to insist on the rights of the Hungarian minority in Ukraine. 

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