Viktor Orban was Monday evening at the Elysée. While the Hungarian Prime Minister regularly makes a dissonant voice heard within the EU, Emmanuel Macron received him to insist on “the unity of European countries” on the war in Ukraine, as well as on the “values Europeans” and “the rule of law”.
During a working dinner, the Head of State and the Hungarian leader prepared the European Council on 23 and 24 March in Brussels. They discussed “issues of European industrial policy and competitiveness, as well as the subject of migration”, declared the French presidency.
Orban criticizes the “indirect war” waged by the EU
Viktor Orban is sailing against the tide of his European partners on the Ukrainian file. He castigates the “indirect war” waged by Europe against Russia and again launched a new call at the end of February for a ceasefire. Beyond that, the nationalist leader has repeatedly rubbed shoulders with the European Union over the fluctuating respect for the rule of law in Hungary, which Emmanuel Macron, much more Europhile, intended to raise again on Monday evening.
The Elysian dinner, more than a year after their last bilateral meeting in December 2021 in Budapest, was therefore “an opportunity to reaffirm the need for the unity of European countries in their support for Ukraine in the face of aggression Russia, in particular through the strict application of sanctions against Russia,” said the entourage of the French president.
The meeting also “made it possible to address the question of the ratification of the accession of Finland and Sweden to NATO, as well as reforms of common interest, which should take place in the coming weeks in the Hungarian Parliament” . Of the 30 members of the Atlantic Alliance, only Turkey and Hungary have yet to ratify these two new candidacies submitted in the midst of the war in Ukraine. A French diplomatic source said on Monday that he was “fairly confident” about the parliamentary process initiated on the Hungarian side.
Since the start of the conflict in February 2022, Budapest, very dependent on Russian hydrocarbon imports, has maintained an ambiguous position, refraining from criticizing the Russian president. Viktor Orban, who had close ties with Vladimir Putin before the war, thus refuses to send arms to kyiv and castigates the European sanctions aimed at Moscow, even if he voted for them.