Hungary’s foreign minister has said the country plans to uphold ties with Moscow, adding that Poland should respect the decision, The Polish Radio reports.
In an interview with Poland’s Salon24 website, Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto said that the country’s government under Prime Minister Viktor Orban does “not see Russia as a threat”, and will continue working with Moscow.
He added that Poland should respect the decision, despite weakening ties between Warsaw and the Kremlin in recent years.
“We know that for Poland, Russia is considered a threat,” Szijjarto said. “We respect it and accept it, but we would like our approach to be respected.”
He added that Hungary sees the current Polish government as a friend and Budapest is “the first to support and stand on the side of the Polish government”.
However, he added that there are some issues where “we cannot move together”, referring to the recent European Union summit where Donald Tusk was reelected to head the European Council. Poland was the only country out of the 28 member states not to back the candidacy of Tusk, a former prime minister of the country.
Asked about how he would describe the relationship between Hungary and Russia, Szijjarto said that from a Hungarian perspective, he believes that this relationship must be “pragmatic” because Russia is one of Hungary’s most important trading partners.
Hungary is a member of the Visegrad Group – which also includes Poland, the Czech Republic and Slovakia.
Orban has friendly relations with Poland’s governing Law and Justice (PiS) party. At an award ceremony last year he said: “Trust between Poles and Hungarians is far-reaching, going much further than just politics. This encourages us to cooperate.”
“The extent to which there is trust between our two countries, two nations, two governments, is exceptional. It is without parallel.”