Pressman: "Hungary stubbornly continues deepen its “connectivity” with Russia"

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US Ambassador: "To double-down on reliance on Russia while it attempts to decapitate your democratic neighbor is wrong"

"Hungary stubbornly continues to maintain and even deepen its “connectivity” with Russia," said US Ambassador David Pressman at a reception held on Wednesday afternoon at the Chief of Mission residence in honor of US-Hungarian scientific collaboration. "Just this weekend, the Foreign Minister of Hungary Péter Szijjártó described Russia as Hungary’s “reliable partner” on energy, and one that would not be replaced. (...) To continue to double down on reliance on Russia while it attempts to decapitate your democratic neighbor is wrong," he added. 

At the beginning of his speech, Pressman pointed out that as Hungary expands its relationship with Moscow, a massive wave of water from the destruction of the Kakhova hydroelectric dam has just swept over and displaced tens of thousands of people in and around Kherson.

"A few things are clear: it was Russia that started this war, it was Russia that occupied this area of Ukraine, and it was Russia that was in control of this dam," the US ambassador said.

Hungarian FM travels to the Middle East

Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto posted several Instagram posts on Thursday morning saying he was in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, where he arrived at midnight."The Global Coalition Against ISIS is meeting in Riyadh" and "We are gathering for the security of the Middle East."

Meanwhile, Bertalan Havasi, Deputy State Secretary of the Prime Minister's Press Office, informed Hungarian News Agency MTI that "Prime Minister Viktor Orbán visited Ashgabat on Thursday, at the invitation of Serdar Berdimuhamedov, President of Turkmenistan," and the Hungarian delegation included János Csák, Minister of Culture and Innovation, Csaba Lantos, Minister of Energy, and Márton Nagy, Minister of Economic Development, as well as Péter Szijjártó, Minister of Foreign Affairs - who was in Rijad, according to his social media, 444. hu noted.

Hungarians value IMF more than the Turkic Council

Hungarian society is extremely divided about the foreign policy goals Hungary should pursue, according to a joint analysis by the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung and Policy Solutions. The survey was based on a representative poll of 1,000 people, conducted by Závecz Research. András Bíró-Nagy, President of Policy Solutions, summarised the most important findings of the research, stressing that for about 20 years from the early 1990s there was a social consensus on who Hungary's allies are, but this has been broken down in the last decade, and in 2022 we saw that these issues have now become the subject of public debates and even the elections.

The majority of Hungarian society agrees that Hungary's fundamental place is in NATO and the EU. Compared to a similar foreign policy attitudes survey two years ago, the proportion of those who agree with the statement that Hungary traditionally belongs to the West in terms of values has increased slightly.

The data on NATO and EU membership are positive: both are considered important by society, while the Turkic Council is the absolute last international organization surveyed, even IMF is considered a more useful partner by Hungarian voters. In terms of party preferences, two-thirds of pro-Moscow voters would remain in NATO, as would 72% of Fidesz voters.

Multiple questions were about the perception of the war. The answers showed that while the vast majority of Hungarians agree with the humanitarian aid to Ukraine, no one supports helping Ukrainians with arms, including the majority of opposition voters. When it came to financial aid the majority of people would not give anything from the Hungarian budget to the Ukrainians.

Szijjártó: Russia is our reliable partner, we will not replace gas supplies

Hungary is not going to give up Russian energy resources, but it is negotiating with other producers for the sake of diversification, Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto told Interfax.

"We're not going to replace supplies from Russia, neither oil, nor gas. Russia has been a reliable partner of ours, both Gazprom and oil producers. Diversification is another matter. But, in our opinion, it does not mean that we wish to replace one source with another. For us, diversification means that we're also looking for other sources, but not for the sake of replacing Russian resources," Szijjarto said.

Szijjarto named Azerbaijan and Turkey as the main suppliers that could deliver additional amounts of gas to Hungary.

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