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Relations Between Hungary and Poland Could Be Reinvigorated

Barbara Bene 2022.09.05.

A new way of working together, taking into account differences of opinion, could be developed in the Visegrád Group (V4) and in Polish-Hungarian relations where our countries are linked by values and interests, Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said in an interview published on Sunday.

An excerpt of the interview, published on Monday in the Polish conservative weekly Sieci, appeared on Sunday on the news portal Wpolityce.pl, in which Morawiecki admitted that the attitude towards the war in Ukraine was indeed divisive. He added that in time, “all the other issues in which we had solidarity, understanding, and mutual support for each other will again bind us strongly together.”

We all know that cooperation within the V4 will significantly strengthen our countries,”

the Polish Prime Minister said.

Mateusz Morawiecki recalled that it was for this reason that the V4 had survived even when the member countries had very different governments. Asked whether the Visegrád meetings could return, the Polish prime minister said that

he wanted to try to find a solution in which they could return to cooperation within the V4, clearly identifying the differences

and respecting the sensitivities of their Ukrainian friends, and also to joint action with Hungary in areas where we are united by values and interests.

As the Polish Prime Minister said, he was confident that such a platform of mutual understanding could be developed, and he believes that the Poles are more ready today than they were in March or April.

The last time the V4 heads of government met was in London in early March, in an expanded format with the UK. Since then, no such meeting has taken place.

However, according to unconfirmed Polish sources, Slovakia, which currently holds the rotating presidency of the V4, plans to hold a summit of Visegrad prime ministers at the end of October.

Relations between Hungary and Poland have been fractured since the outbreak of the Russian-Ukrainian war. The two divergent positions of the allies have led to a frosty atmosphere between them, however, this may now be defused following the Polish prime minister’s comments.

In July, during a speech given at the Bálványos University Summer Camp in Romania, Viktor Orbán said that the war in Ukraine had stirred up Polish-Hungarian cooperation, which is the axis of the Visegrad 4 Group. According to the Hungarian Prime Minister, although the goals of both countries are the same, “the problem is on the side of the heart,” because while Hungarians look at the conflict as a war between two Slavic nations, Poles “feel that they themselves are also fighting in it.”

Polish-Hungarian Alliance: Another Victim of the War in Ukraine
Polish-Hungarian Alliance: Another Victim of the War in Ukraine

The paths of the two Visegrad 4 allies have "parted" after the February invasion of UkraineContinue reading

In response to Orbán’s words then, Morawiecki said that he confirmed the second part of the Hungarian PM’s statement that “the paths of Hungary and Poland have diverged.” However, he did not confirm the first part, because “of course Poland is not taking any part in the war in Ukraine.” Later in August, at the Polish-Hungarian Summer University in Krasiczyn, Poland, Marek Kuchcinski, Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Polish Sejm and former Speaker of the Polish Parliament, said that the war in Ukraine does not override the Polish-Hungarian friendship, it is still alive and well, and the two nations are cooperating on strategic issues.

The difference of opinion between Poland and Hungary, the change to a pro-EU liberal government in Prague, and the shift to the left in Bratislava, has meant that the Visegrad 4 alliance has become dormant. However, the cooperation might just be renewed now with the Polish-Hungarian alliance possibly being reinvigorated after the statements given by the Polish Prime Minister.

Featured photo: MTI/Miniszterelnöki Sajtóiroda/Fischer Zoltán

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