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Cabinet Chief: Secret Services May Observe “Anti-Hungarian” Activities In The Region


The Hungarian government office chief singled out a number of neighbouring countries in which “anti-Hungarian” activities are taking place. Briefing parliament’s national security committee on Tuesday, János Lázár gave an annual assessment of the work of the Bureau of Intelligence under his supervision. We may observe expressly anti-Hungarian activities in quite a few neighbouring countries, and the the Bureau of Intelligence must take action to combat these, he said.

Due to Ukrainian obstruction, providing support for the ethnic Hungarian community in western Ukraine posed a daily challenge to the Hungarian secret services and public administration, János Lázár said. The Hungarian government supports the Transcarpathian Hungarian community, and the Information Office plays a key role in this, he said, adding that Hungary must persevere in protecting their interests.

János Lázár said that the government in Romania had been carrying out “explicitly anti-Hungarian” actions under the pretext of “transparency and justice”. Efforts are being made to “destabilise” the activities and financial situation of the oldest and largest Hungarian churches, in violation of the freedom of religion, he said. “At present it cannot be judged whether these actions have anything to do with close cooperation between the Romanian government and the United States,” he said.

Attempts by the Croatian government to discredit Hungary’s entire business elite in connection with the MOL-INA issue are “unprecedented”. The aim is to drag the entire management of Hungarian oil and gas company MOL into a criminal procedure, Lázár added. An “intentional and deliberate boycott” was behind the failure to complete interconnectors between the gas networks of Romania and Croatia and that of Hungary, he said.

On the topic of Hungary’s image abroad, he said the Information Office “has mapped out interest groups that have sought to discredit Hungary.” He referred to a recent analysis by the German Council on Foreign Relations that explored how the German press had “distorted” Hungary’s image using US background information. The Cabinet Chief indicated that the Bureau of Intelligence is particularly focusing on action designed to influence the perception of Hungary abroad.

Lázár also referred to “unambiguous information” concerning economic interest groups hurt by government measures. He said these interest groups lobbied the EU to launch infringement procedures and influence regulations for lighter tax rules among others. Lázár told the committee that Hungary’s disputes with Brussels were expected to be more of an economic nature in future, citing questions of competition, illegal state support and non-discrimination. “We have already concluded our debates on issues related to freedom and democracy,” he added.

Speaking about intelligence cooperation, he noted that the three main partner organisations of the Hungarian intelligence services are those of Germany, Israel and the United States. However, the fact that relations between the United States and Hungary significantly deteriorated last year due to the assessment of the internal political situation in Hungary and “have been less than satisfactory has not made the activities of the Hungarian intelligence services any easier”, János Lázár said.

via and photo: Tamás Kovács – MTI