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Balkan Insight: Hungary has become a hub for Russian spying
A Russian spy allegedly took a flash drive containing sensitive military data to Hungary hidden in his anus, Balkan Insight reports. The Russian man suspected of espionage was arrested on the Ukrainian-Hungarian border. According to the SBU’s statement, the man planned to personally take the flash drive to the Russian embassy in Budapest. According to the report, the incident illustrates how Hungary has become a hub for Russian intelligence.
The data on the flash drive was partly personal information on SBU and GUR officers, leaders of the Azov movement, and military personnel of the 72nd mechanized brigade of the Armed Forces of Ukraine. I also contained sensitive military information on Ukrainian army bases, arsenals, warehouses, and their locations.
Katalin Novak Novák meets Zelensky in Kyiv
Hungarian President Katalin Novak traveled to Kyiv on Saturday to attend the Grain From Ukraine Summit, where she met Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. The prime ministers of Poland, Belgium, and Lithuania also attended the summit that launched a plan to export $150 million worth of grain to countries most vulnerable to famine and drought.
"Hungary has been supporting Ukraine on a bilateral level. Today I announced in Kyiv that we financially support the Grain From Ukraine initiative, because we Hungarians have a strong affiliation to life and survival, and know perfectly the importance of being in solidarity," the Hungarian President tweeted.
Hungary 🇭🇺has been supporting Ukraine 🇺🇦 on bilateral level. Today I announced in #Kyiv that we financially support the #GrainFromUkraine initiative, because we #Hungarians have a strong affiliation to life and survival, know perfectly the importance of being in #solidarity. pic.twitter.com/7ZjTJl2yiB— Katalin Novák (@KatalinNovakMP) November 26, 2022
Novak is the highest-ranking Hungarian politician who visited Zelensky since Russia invaded Ukraine in February. Novak is a close ally of Hungary's Prime Minister Viktor Orban.
Von der Leyen will not visit Budapest to announce recovery plan
Ursula von der Leyen will not travel to Budapest to announce the adoption multi-billion recovery plan, a spokesperson for the Commission said on Tuesday. Von der Leyen is breaking the previous practice of not being present in Budapest to announce the decision to the press next to Viktor Orban. The European Commission has found that Hungary has not progressed enough in its reforms and must meet essential milestones for its Recovery and Resilience funds
"There is still a continued risk to the EU budget given that the remedial measures that still need to be fulfilled are of a structural and horizontal nature," the Commission wrote in a statement on Wednesday.
The President of the European Commission was about to travel to Hungary last year in July however, she canceled the trip after the country's parliament passed the 'child protection law' that raised concerns in Brussels over discrimination against LGBTQ minorities.
Hungary still opposes convening the NATO-Ukraine Commission
Hungarian Foreign minister Péter Szijjártó said Budapest will continuously block convening the body responsible for developing the NATO-Ukraine relationship over minority rights. Hungary has been blocking ministerial-level political meetings between NATO and Ukraine since 2017 when the Ukrainian Parliament adopted the law “On Ensuring the Functioning of the Ukrainian Language as the State Language".
"We made it clear for many years now that the Hungarian government will not agree to a formal meeting of the NATO-Ukraine Commission until the Hungarians of Transcarpathia have their rights restored," Minister of Foreign Affairs Péter Szijjártó said in a statement in Bucharest on Tuesday.
Before the war, the number of ethnic Hungarians in Ukraine was estimated at around 140,000.