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Polish FM warns Hungary about deals with Russia

05.12.2023 09:30
Poland's foreign minister has met with his Hungarian counterpart and cautioned the government in Budapest against engaging in economic cooperation with Russia amid the Kremlin's invasion of Ukraine, according to officials.
Polish Foreign Minister Szymon Szynkowski vel Sęk (left) and Hungarys Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Pter Szijjrtó (right) meet in Budapest, on Monday, December 4, 2023.
Polish Foreign Minister Szymon Szynkowski vel Sęk (left) and Hungary's Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Péter Szijjártó (right) meet in Budapest, on Monday, December 4, 2023.X/Polish Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Poland's Szymon Szynkowski vel Sęk and Hungary's Péter Szijjártó held talks in Budapest on Monday, Polish state news agency PAP reported.

Afterwards the Polish foreign minister said the two countries had "different views" on Russia.

Last week, Hungary's Szijjártó met with Russia's top diplomat Sergei Lavrov at the annual Ministerial Council of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) in North Macedonia.

'Russia must not be treated as a partner': Polish FM

Szynkowski vel Sęk, who did not attend the event because of Lavrov's presence, said in Budapest that "Russia must not be treated as a partner."

The Polish foreign minister added that Moscow would leverage any business agreements with other countries to their detriment.

He said the Polish government was warning Hungary as its "close partner" and based on "Poland's own experiences," public broadcaster Polish Radio's IAR news agency reported.

Szynkowski vel Sęk and Szijjártó also discussed planned changes to European Union treaties, according to officials.   

The two agreed that "the EU should be strong," and that this should be achieved through "strong member states," and not by turning the bloc into "a sort of superstate" that takes over the powers of national governments, reporters were told. 

Szijjártó also declared that for Hungary, relations with Poland would remain a "brotherhood," even if there were certain "policy differences" between the two countries.

Hungary opposes EU membership talks with Ukraine

Meanwhile, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban has demanded that EU leaders do not decide on whether to approve membership talks with Ukraine at their summit in Brussels next week.

In a letter to European Council President Charles Michel, the Hungarian prime minister said on Monday that the EU should avoid any decision "for the sake of unity," as "the obvious lack of consensus would inevitably lead to failure," the Reuters news agency reported.

Orban, who has maintained ties with Russia despite its war on Ukraine, added that the summit should not decide on a budget plan that includes EUR 50 billion in economic support for Kyiv, the IAR news agency reported.

Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24, 2022, launching the largest military campaign in Europe since World War II.

Tuesday is day 650 of Russia’s war on Ukraine.


Source: IAR, PAP, Reuters