The must-have newsletter about Hungary



Prime Minister Viktor Orbán told French weekly Le Point that the reaction in Brussels to Hungary acting like a sovereign country was to mount a massive financial blockade and link the Ukraine issue to the rule of law, “even though they have nothing to do with each other”. Put to him that a senior European Council official had dismissed the information published by the Financial Times, Orbán said: “We’re not just out of kindergarten”. If the document published in the FT describes a financial blockade against Hungary in detail, “such a scenario exists for sure”, he said. Orbán accused the EU of becoming increasingly imperialist rather than “a community of sovereign states”, and he charged the European Commission with waging an ideological war against Hungary. Its complaints about Hungarian migration and gender policies have nothing to do with corruption or the quality of justice, he added. “It’s clear that the real bone of contention with Hungary isn’t the rule of law.” Stripping Hungary of its vote in the European Council would be possible only in the case of a rule-of-law violation, he said, adding that Ukraine was an unrelated issue.
Orbán said European institutions did not take the rule of law seriously but used it as a tool to blackmail countries that wanted to preserve their sovereignty and hold their own opinions. He said the argument of other EU member states that annual financing would prevent Ukraine from planning its spending over four years could be taken seriously but was “unacceptable”. It is hard to predict what would happen in the next few months “let alone in another four years”, he said, adding that it was unknown what the US’ role would be after the November presidential election. Referring to the upcoming European Parliament elections, Orbán said the opinion of Europeans would be bypassed if a decision on funding for Ukraine were made today. The 50 billion euros in question would be “very useful for the people of Europe”, he said, adding that the continent was “increasingly suffering due to the poor performance of the economy”. Asked about Donald Trump’s re-election prospects, Orbán noted that he had said in 2016 that Europe needed Trump since it was usual in international politics that the basis of decision-making was the national interest. Even without the war, “Ukraine is a serious problem for Europe”, he said, arguing that closer ties with the EU, or even its accession, could have “a catastrophic effect” on European economies, especially its agriculture.