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Budapest called Danilov’s claims that Hungarian authorities knew about the Russian invasion beforehand 'fake news'
The secretary of the National Security Council of Ukraine, Oleksiy Danilov, said Hungarian authorities were informed about a full-scale attack on Ukraine beforehand by the Russian President. “Hungary openly declares its cooperation with the Russian Federation. Moreover, Putin warned [them] in advance that there would be attacks on our country,” Danilov said. He also believed Hungary had plans for part of the territory of Ukraine.
The Hungarian embassy in Kyiv took to Facebook and wrote they are “outraged” by the allegations that Budapest was warned in advance about Russia’s plans to go to war. “The statement by Oleksiy Danilov, head of the National Security and Defense Council (NSDC), ‘contains accusations that are false and unfounded, and incite hatred against the Hungarian people and Hungary in Ukrainian public opinion, which is suffering from war’,”- the embassy’s social media post reads.
The country’s Secretary of State for International Communication and Relations, Zoltán Kovács, also called the accusation “fake news” on Twitter: “Responding to fake news: On April 3, Hungarians decided that Hungary will not ship weapons to Ukraine. While we understand that Ukraine does not welcome our decision, spreading fake news and coming up with lies will not change our position.”
Though Dalinlov's claims are yet to be confirmed, the Hungarian PM, Viktor Orbán had an exchange with Pope Francis where the country's prime minister allegedly indicated he has some insight on the war next door. In an exclusive interview with Corriere Della Sera, Pope Francis has had an interesting remark about Hungary's nationalist leader. “When I met Orbán, he told me that the Russians have a precise plan and that the war will end on May 9th.” - the Catholic leader said.
Orbán previously listed Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy as one of his opponents amongst the “international left, the bureaucrats in Brussels, the money of the Soros empire and the international media” in his speech after his landslide victory in the April 3 parliamentary elections.
Justice Minister Judit Varga submits the 10th Constitutional Amendment proposal
“We are going to protect the Hungarian people. I submitted the 10th Constitutional Amendment Proposal,” wrote Hungarian Justice Minister Judit Varga on Tuesday on Facebook. ”The Russian-Ukrainian war has resulted in a humanitarian situation not seen since World War II, and it has changed the economic perspectives in Europe. To meet and counter these challenges, our country must ensure the capacity to develop effective and quick national responses”.
The proposal published on the Hungarian parliament’s website expands the government’s mandate to declare a state of emergency in case of war or a humanitarian crisis in neighboring countries.
The submission of the proposal was not unexpected, as Gergely Gulyás, the Minister of the Prime Minister’s Office had already announced it and explained the need for this step during a press briefing on April 21. Gulyás said that the state of emergency due to the pandemic expires on May 31, and it will not be further extended, but they will create the possibility of introducing a new emergency category due to the war next door. According to Gulyás, this law will make it possible to declare a state of emergency because of the war in Ukraine.
Missile attack in Transcarpathia
A missile struck a small Transcarpathian town, Volovets ( Volóc), which is only 115 kilometers (71 miles) away from the Hungarian border, on May 3. This was the first time since the Russian invasion started in Ukraine, that a missile reached the region where Hungarians are the most substantial ethnic minority.
“A missile hit an infrastructure facility in a mountainous district in Transcarpathia. Emergency services are working at the scene, and we are monitoring the damage and possible casualties,” - Viktor Mikita, Head of the Transcarpathian Regional Military Administration wrote on Telegram, asking everyone not to take photos at the scene.
According to Karpatalja.ma, an electrical substation and a railway station were hit by the missile, and there was a fire at the site.
Later that day, the council of Ungvár wrote on its Facebook page that windows had exploded within 500 meters of the blast, damaging nearby cars.
Hungary will veto the EU’s proposal to ban the import of Russian oil
Zoltan Kovács, Hungary’s Secretary of State for International Communication and Relations, was a guest on BBC’s Hard Talk, where he told the host Stephen Sackur that the country would veto the EU’s proposal of a Russian oil embargo. According to Kovacs, it is "unacceptable", “ against Hungarian interest “, and would "completely ruin the Hungarian economy".
The host also asked Kovacs if Hungary "supports Ukraine's current resistance, its defense of its territory by military means against the Russian aggressor", and the spokesperson replied with the following: “We do support Ukraine but not by military means.”
The proposal must be approved by all 27 EU member states to take further steps, but Kovacs’s statements threw the proposal into doubt.
freedom in Hungary has deteriorated over
the past year,
but it moved up in RSF
Hungary’s World Press Freedom Index score fell further on the Reporters Without Borders (RSF) list, but the country moved up from 92nd out of 180 countries to 85th place. In the European Union, only Greece and Bulgaria were ranked below Hungary. The organization named the Center-European country, among other European countries, that “intensified draconian laws against journalists”.
Although Hungary has risen from 92nd place since 2021, its state of media freedom is still the worst in the V4 region, and the higher ranking might be a result of other European countries like Albania shifting further down on the list. The method for compiling the index has also changed; the one used now takes press freedom in the digital space more into account than before.
Since his return to power in 2010, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán “has unceasingly attacked media pluralism and independence” - RSF said in their latest report.”After public broadcasting was turned into a propaganda organ, many private media [outlets] were taken over or silenced. The ruling party, Fidesz, has seized de facto control of 80 percent of the country’s media through political-economic maneuvers and the purchase of news organizations by friendly oligarchs”. The report also mentions that Hungary is the only EU member country where journalists were monitored with Pegasus software.
Small gas stations are suing the Hungarian state in Strasbourg over price freeze
The extended price cap on gas in Hungary led to a state where smaller gas stations have operated at loss for the past six months. Fifty of these mainly family-owned companies decided to sue the state in collective action, Szabad Europa reports.
“Next week, we will file a constitutional complaint and initiate proceedings against the Hungarian state before the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg,” said Dániel Karsai, a lawyer. According to Karsai, the stations suffered a loss on every liter of fuel sold, which infringes on their legitimate expectations and ownership. He added that the 20 Hungarian forints per liter government compensation payments to gas stations did not help.
The article states that the government’s actions may violate the European Convention on Human Rights, which protects ownership. Also, the part of the measure that obliges fuel sellers to operate their business even at loss, and the part that allows competitors to take them over, violates these rights.