The must-have newsletter about Hungary



Russia’s attack on Ukraine was “doubtless aggression”, a breach of international law, Gergely Gulyás, the prime minister’s chief of staff, said in a podcast on Monday. But the EU’s sanctions have put the European economy in an impossible situation, “or at least in a very difficult one”; Hungary and the EU are in disagreement on the latter point, he added. As a result, the European press has cast Hungary as having “some sort of special relation with Russia, that [Russian President Vladimir] Putin and the prime minister have a special relationship, which is not true.” Central European countries are generally more dependent on Russian energy sources than others, Gulyás said, insisting that “the Czechs and Slovaks, while failing to fight for exemptions [from the sanctions], were happy to get them thanks to our fight.” Democracy, a common European value, should mean that Hungary’s government is respected as the one commanding the strongest mandate from voters since 1990 in Hungary, Gulyás said. The European press, however, “can only speak in one voice and pushes a left-liberal green ideology everywhere.” Hungary’s multifaceted press allows more varied political opinions than anywhere else in Europe, and offers real alternatives for the people, he said. Regarding the campaign financing of the opposition, Gulyás said that a party coalition had accepted billions of forints worth of funding from abroad during the election campaign. The goal of their financers was to topple the incumbent government, he said. The scandal “would be all over the major news outlets of the world had it involved the government parties,” he said. Instead, the “clear and gross violation of the law” is being swept under the rug in the western press, he said.