News outlet Politico published a fake news story accusing Hungary of sabotaging sanctions against Russia, State Secretary Zoltán Kovács wrote on his blog.
“In the Wednesday edition of its Brussels Playbook newsletter, Politico called the government of Hungary ‘Putin’s EU saboteur,’ claiming that the Orbán Government is threatening to veto the extension of EU sanctions because the prime minister wants four individuals removed from the list,” Zoltán Kovács, the State Secretary for International Communication, Hungary’s international spokesman wrote on his About Hungary blog. According to Kovács, this claim is false, because
Hungary had no objections to the list of names connected to the tenth sanctions package.
The state secretary wrote that Politico “knew the information was false, but they published it in the Playbook newsletter anyway.” He noted that “an official of the Hungarian government responded to the questions of the journalist, Jacopo Barigazzi, making it clear that Hungary was not threatening a veto because of any names on the list.” “He made it completely clear to Barigazzi that Hungary’s only issue was with the length of the rollover – i.e., that the length of the review of the sanctions regime should remain at the current six months and not be extended to 12. That rather essential fact made it into a revised version of the story on Tuesday evening, February 21,” Kovács explained.
On Thursday, Politico‘s newsletter claimed that Prime Minister Viktor Orbán was missing from the Warsaw summit with the Bucharest Nine and US President Joe Biden. Kovács pointed out that in Hungary, it is always the head of the state – in this case, President Katalin Novák – who attends the Bucharest Nine summits, and she was there.
Featured photo via Facebook/Kovács Zoltán