Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó, referring to press reports and communications between the Ukrainian foreign minister and Kyiv’s ambassador in Budapest, accused members of the Hungarian opposition of being in constant contact with representatives of the Ukrainian government. Both the Ukrainian Embassy and Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba denied the allegations. Kuleba expressed regret over the statements of the Hungarian Foreign Minister, noting that they are untrue and destroy relations between Kyiv and Budapest.
Pro-government news site Magyar Nemzet published an article on Wednesday, in which the portal reported that Ukraine’s Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba called the Ukrainian ambassador to Hungary on the phone and asked her how to help Hungary’s six-party opposition alliance to win the upcoming parliamentary elections.
Citing national security sources, Magyar Nemzet then claimed the campaign team of the alliance’s PM candidate Péter Márki-Zay and Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zeleneskyy got into contact.
According to the portal, this was followed by Zelenskyy’s speech at the European Council, in which he directly addressed Viktor Orbán and criticized Hungary’s policy on Ukraine.
A few hours after the article was published, Hungary’s Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó, in a live Facebook video, proclaimed the information emerging in the press was all true. However, he did not name the Magyar Nemzet article.
“The Hungarian left has been completely exposed. They are busted, as the Hungarian left and representatives of the Ukrainian government are in constant contact,” Szijjártó said.
The Hungarian Foreign Minister then went on to say:
The Hungarian left made a promise that if they were in government, they would immediately decide on the transfer of armaments to Ukraine and immediately vote in favor of sanctions on oil and gas shipments to Europe and Hungary.”
The minister insisted that Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s international speeches in which he “constantly attacks Hungary and its government for refusing to send weapons to Ukraine, or to vote for sanctions endangering our energy supplies” also corroborate that such talks had taken place.
Ukrainian embassy: Stop anti-Ukrainian scaremongering
The Embassy of Ukraine in Hungary was quick to respond to the article of the pro-government newspaper.
Ukraine has not interfered and will not interfere in the internal affairs of Hungary. The publication ‘Magyar Nemzet’ tries to drag us into an internal fight with similar articles, but we do not fall for this provocation. We suggest the publisher to stop anti-Ukrainian scaremongering, the enemies of Ukraine should be sought elsewhere,”
the embassy wrote in a short statement.
Meanwhile, in reaction to the accusations from Péter Szijjártó, the campaign chief of the opposition alliance told Telex it was a very “cheap campaign stunt” from the Foreign Minister. Péter Zaránd labeled the allegations a ‘lie’ to divert attention from the findings of investigative outlet Direkt36 published on Tuesday, and the Orbán government’s and his own personal responsibility for the Russian influence in Hungary, which clearly present a national security risk.
Kuleba: FM Szijjártó is ready to fabricate nonsense ahead of elections
Ukraine’s Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba expressed regret over the recent statements of his Hungarian counterpart, noting that they are untrue and destroy relations between Kyiv and Budapest.
“Contrary to Hungary’s attitude towards Ukraine, we have never interfered in Hungary’s internal affairs, especially in the days before the elections. It is a pity that in the interests of short-term election gains, Minister Szijjártó is prepared to fabricate nonsense, thereby destroying the long-standing relationship between us. If the Lavrov order is more important to him than the relationship with me, it would be wise to say so openly,” Kuleba said.
As we have previously reported, the President of Ukraine asked the Hungarian Prime Minister to act more decisively in the war on the side of Ukraine. In an address at Thursday’s EU Council meeting, Zelenskyy drew a parallel between the mass killings of Jewish Hungarians at the Danube Bank during the Second World War and Russians now massacring Ukrainian civilians in Mariupol.
Following the Ukrainian president’s words, the opposition alliance’s PM candidate posted a tweet, saying:
“The people of Hungary heard your words, Mr. President Zelensky! We shall never forget. I look forward to the day when I can meet you here in person on the banks of the Danube, to exchange thoughts on the future of the EU and the peaceful coexistence of our nations,” Péter Márki-Zay said.
In response to the Twitter post, the Hungarian Foreign Minister immediately accused Márki-Zay of having agreed with Ukraine that “…if the Left forms the next government in Hungary, they will immediately vote for sanctions against natural gas and oil deliveries and start arms shipments to Ukraine.”
Featured photo via Péter Szijjártó’s Facebook page