Hungarian politicians might have accepted Moscow funds to promote pro-Kremlin messaging

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Hungarian politicians reportedly accepted Russian funds to spread Moscow-friendly propaganda

A propaganda network was uncovered with alleged ties to Moscow, purportedly funneling funds to politicians across Europe to advance pro-Russian agendas within the EU, Der Spiegel and Der Standard reported.

Funds were directed towards financing campaigns ahead of the European Parliamentary elections, with Czech Prime Minister Petr Fiala shedding light on the matter during a recent press briefing. Fiala highlighted the network's utilization of the Prague-based news outlet, Voice of Europe, a platform spreading pro-Russian narratives, including calls for the EU to rethink its support for Ukraine in its conflict with Russia. Deník N noted the cessation of operations by Voice of Europe, hinting at potential ramifications following the investigative reports.

Fiala underscored the Czech Security Information Service's assessment that the network's activities pose significant threats to EU security, extending their reach into the corridors of the European Parliament. The Czech Republic has taken decisive action, imposing sanctions against Voice of Europe and its purported backers.

Der Spiegel also reported on the alleged involvement of pro-Russian Ukrainian oligarch Viktor Medvedchuk, known for his close ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin. Medvedchuk allegedly had a role in leveraging Voice of Europe across EU member states to finance candidates in the European Parliament to amplify anti-Ukraine propaganda.

Orban travels to Bukarest to meet Romanian PM

Viktor Orbán traveled to Bucharest on Wednesday, where he held talks with Hunor Kelemen, President of the Hungarian Democratic Alliance in Romania. He also met with Romanian Prime Minister Marcel Ciolacu. The Hungarian Prime Minister joined the preparatory meeting of the EU Strategic Agenda 2024-2029 in Bucharest -  the President of Romania and the President of the European Council, Charles Michel also joined the event.

Szijjarto meets Ukrainian foreign minister Kuleba

"In recent weeks, we have taken further steps to restore mutual trust in relations between Hungary and Ukraine", Péter Szijjártó said after meeting Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmitro Kuleba.

"We look forward to tomorrow's meeting of the Hungarian-Ukrainian working group on education with hope, as the most important task now is to restore the rights of the Hungarian community in Transcarpathia to education and the use of their mother tongue," Szijjártó said on Wednesday. The Foreign Minister added that the government-supported infrastructure development on the Ukrainian-Hungarian border will allow for the transshipment of 1 million containers and 3 million tonnes of wheat and edible oil per year at Fényeslitke, which could greatly help Ukraine to maintain its trade with Europe.

264 million taxpayer money was spent on foreign minister's travel on private jet last year

The Austrian private aircraft OE-HUG, often associated with Lőrinc Mészáros, Orban's childhood friend, coincidentally flew to America alongside the Hungarian government delegation, hvg360 reported. Despite the parallel timing and destination, Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó and his team were not aboard the luxurious jet, a pattern observed previously during their journey to China.

Instead, Szijjártó and his colleagues opted for another lavish mode of travel, flying to the UN conference in New York on a luxury jet. Subsequent trips to Brussels and New York, including a detour to Austin and Houston, unfolded on different jets.

The synchronicity between the OE-HUG's itinerary and Szijjártó's US travel schedule last summer raises questions. During his stay at UN assemblies in New York on July 17 and 18, 2023, Szijjártó engaged in high-level meetings and discussions, including fruitful talks with Uzbekistan's Minister of Economy regarding prospective Hungarian investments and a potential direct air link.

While Szijjártó was in the US, OE-HUG lingered in Washington and New York, extending its stay in the latter by an additional day. Data suggests that the Foreign Minister did not share the private plane with Mészáros for their Budapest to New York journey, investigative outlet, Atlatszo wrote. FOIA requests revealed that just last year Szijjártó's travel costs on the Dutch luxury jet cost 264 million Hungarian Forints.