Momentum president András Fekete-Győr and independent MPs Ákos Hadházy and Bernadett Szél held a joint press conference in front of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, where they voiced their support for Alexei Navalny and condemned the Russian government. They also reprimanded Fidesz for not acting enough on the unjust poisoning and imprisonment of the Russian opposition leader.
After the three representatives demanded that the Hungarian government stand up for the imprisoned Russian politician, they spray painted #FREENAVALNY on the street in front of the building, which led to police conducting background checks on them.
Opposition Representatives Demand Action
Fekete-Győr, leader of the centrist liberal Momentum Movement, believes that while it would be the responsibility of the Hungarian government to defend a pro-democracy movement, it is entirely on Vladimir Putin’s side. Regarding Navalny’s imprisonment, he said that “they are starving this man, and he is on the brink of death. Viktor Orbán’s biggest ally wants to kill this man. We stand on the side of truth and democracy.”
Independent representative Hadházy said that it is important to show solidarity with Navalny, since “whichever countries rejects, or sabotages political pressure is helping the dictator.” Hadházy also described Russia as a warning sign for what could happen in Hungary.
Russia is unfortunately a blueprint for Fidesz’s regime. We can see what happens to those who stand by their opinions. So far we are only at the point today where the Hungarian government is trying to silence the opposition with brutal fines.”
Independent representative Bernadett Szél stated that “they could not kill him [Navalny] quickly, now they are trying to do so slowly.” She said that she was in front of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade since the Hungarian government has plenty of mechanisms at its disposal to counteract Russia, as would be its responsibility, but it is not using them.
Hungary’s Silence Towards Navalny Imprisonment
Fidesz has been noticeably quiet regarding the poisoning and imprisonment of Alexei Navalny. While the government did join the European Council in condemning the Russian government for his arrest, Fidesz did not join in the international condemnation that followed his prison sentence.
Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Péter Szijjártó has previously stated that EU-Russia ties should not be “narrowed down to sanctions or the issues around Russian opposition politician Alexei Navalny.”
The foreign minister’s reasoning for avoiding Navalny’s imprisonment involves economic and security ties with Moscow, as well as efforts against the coronavirus. Hungary has ordered enough of Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine to inoculate one million people, and it may worry about losing shipments if it strains the political relationship.
In the featured photo, András Fekete-Győr, Ákos Hadházy, and Bernadett Szél stand in front of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade after spray painting #FREENAVALNY in front of it. Featured photo via András Fekete-Győr’s Facebook page.