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EU leaders criticize Orban over meeting with Russian President
Estonia and Luxembourg leaders criticized Hungary's far right prime minister Viktor Orban for his recent meeting with Russia's Vladimir Putin, amid the ongoing war in Ukraine, Reuters reports. Orban defended the meeting, stating it was necessary to maintain communication for the sake of peace. "We would like to do everything to have peace. Therefore we keep open all the communication lines to the Russians, otherwise there will be no chance for peace," he told reporters, adding he was proud of his strategy.
While the West has provided substantial financial and military aid to Ukraine and imposed sanctions on Russia since the invasion in February 2022, Orban has developed closer ties with Moscow, consistently opposed the sanctions, and even threatened to block the promised 50 billion euros in support for Ukraine through 2027.
Orbán calls Brussels a ‘bad contemporary parody’ of the Soviet Union
During a speech on Monday commemorating the anniversary of Hungary's 1956 uprising against Soviet occupation, Viktor Orbán drew a comparison between Hungary's EU membership and the Soviet rule. He stated, "We are seeing echoes of the Soviet era in the present day. History sometimes repeats itself, as it turns out." Orbán went on to say in Veszprem, as reported by local media, "
“What once was tragedy is now a comedy at best. Fortunately, Brussels is not Moscow. Moscow was a tragedy. Brussels is just a bad contemporary parody (...) We had to dance to the tune that Moscow whistled, Brussels whistles too, but we dance as we want to, and if we don’t want to, then we don’t dance.” This speech echoes Orbán's statements from the previous year when he had suggested that the EU might eventually resemble the Soviet Union.
Fidesz says Sweden's nato bid is not on Parliament's agenda
Turkey's President Erdogan had already submitted a draft law on the ratification of Sweden's NATO membership to the Turkish National Assembly on Monday. After move, the Hungarian government and parliament are also forced to take action if they do not want the Hungarian parliament to be the last to ratify the treaty.
Hungarian television channel ATV sent a press request to Fidesz parliamentary group leader Máté Kocsis's office on when the parliament will proceed with the final vote, and they received the following answer: "There is no change in the position of the governing parties, the Hungarian parliament is sovereign, it is proceeding according to its own agenda".
Three weeks ago, Zsolt Németh, chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Hungarian Parliament, said that they will ratify Sweden's accession to NATO before Turkey.
Thousands protest for education in Hungary
In Budapest on Monday, civil organizations, as well as teacher and student movements, organized a protest advocating for educational freedom. The demonstrators assembled at Heroes' Square, where they also voiced their call for increased salaries for educators.
Among the protesters, who proudly waved national, European Union, and Ukrainian flags, a poignant moment occurred when they paused in front of Kölcsey Ferenc High School. It was at this school that five teachers were compelled to resign from their positions in September of the previous year.