It is interesting to watch the muted reaction of Nordic leaders to the meeting between Mr. Orban, the Prime Minister of Hungary, and Putin.
The meeting with the leader of Hungary, a member of Nato and the EU, is a major coup for the Kremlin, which is using the trip to defy western attempts to isolate Russia. Western nations have criticised Orban for acting in Putin’s interests since his brutal invasion of Ukraine by delaying sanctions, refusing to provide military assistance to Kyiv, and objecting to its accession to the EU.
The leaders of Norway, Sweden and Denmark appear to remain silent while at least the Finnish Foreign Minister has made a short comment on TV shortly before this meeting.
However, two Baltic leaders have been more open about this dreadful state of affairs, and NATO is now meeting to discuss what should be done, if anything!
USA’s ambassador to Hungary, David Pressman, has condemned the meeting on Twitter: “Hungary’s leader chooses to stand with a man whose forces are responsible for crimes against humanity in Ukraine, and alone among our Allies. While Russia strikes Ukrainian civilians, Hungary pleads for business deals.”
According to a note by SaraJane Rzegocki from the US-based Center for European Policy Analysis.
“There is more than a hint that US patience with Hungary’s Prime Minister Viktor Orbán and his acolytes is running dangerously low…”
”,,,Hungary is the most graft-ridden country in the 27-member European Union (EU), according to Transparency International, gets a dismal ranking as “partly free” from Freedom House — notably worse than neighbors like Slovakia and Romania — and, perhaps most significantly for its allies, has consistently dragged its feet on assistance in Ukraine’s fight for survival, blocked arms shipments and worked to halt or slow anti-Russian EU measures.”
Prior to the the meeting between Orbán and Putin, Finland’s Foreign Minister Ms. Valtonen said that Hungary is “breaking the unity of the EU“, by not supporting Ukraine as it defends itself against Russia’s brutal war.
The Finnish Prime Minister, Mr. Orpo, has not commented on this meeting, but the Estonian Prime Minister, Ms. Kallas has made the following statement to Reuters, “It was really, really unpleasant to watch.”
It is shocking that the people of Hungary can behave towards the EU when it seeks out a friendly relationship with its former brutal colonial power, while being a major recipient of cash from the richer countries of the EU. The people of Hungary have really fallen deep into the Faustian pit of horror dug by their elected leader who prefers to work openly with the cruelest of war criminals.