The issue around the United States’ entry ban is losing its graveness and “the whole thing is becoming more and more chaotic”, PM Viktor Orbán told public radio on Friday. Referring to a document the government had received from the US Embassy in Budapest, Orbán said it was but “a scrap of paper” with no stamp or signature, containing an “unstructured collection of accusations we heard from the opposition during the past four years”. The document appears “as if somebody wanted to drag us back into the political situation before the elections”, he added.
“One takes criticism from friends seriously… but now it is becoming more and more difficult,” Orbán said, and suggested that dealing with the matter was a waste of time. He also added that “ any ambassador presenting a paper like that to a government should be withdrawn from their post the next day”. Concerning tax authority NAV chief Ildikó Vida, who has been impacted by the US ban, Orbán said that even if she tendered her resignation he would “think twice” before accepting it or else it would serve as a precedent for the removal of any official at the accusation of a foreign country without any evidence. That would question Hungary’s sovereignty, Orbán said, adding that the prime minister must not leave a single Hungarian unprotected.
Answering a question if the entry ban should interpreted in light of the opposition between Russia and the West, Orbán said that “though it might sound logical, it is a dangerous assumption”. He said it would suggest “no less than a bigger country launching a slander campaign against individuals of a smaller country to influence its policies”. “That would be such a serious charge against the United States that I would refuse even to consider,” Orbán added. “We are an ally and a friend to the US, and I would not dare to accuse the US of waging a slander campaign against innocent citizens of another country purely for economic reasons,” Orbán said in his interview.
via hungarymatters.hu photo: Péter Kollányi – MTI