Ukraine on Thursday accused its neighbour, Hungary, of appeasing Russian aggression and disrupting EU unity following a telephone call between the Hungarian and Russian leaders.
“Apparently, after the elections, Budapest moved on to the next step – helping (Russian President Vladimir) Putin continue his aggression against Ukraine,” the Ukrainian foreign ministry said in a statement.
Putin congratulated the Hungarian Prime Minister, Viktor Orban, after his party’s victory in the last general election, securing their fourth term in power.
The two leaders on Wednesday spoke again and Orban told Putin Hungary would be prepared to pay Russia in rubbles for gas imports.
“We believe this statement of readiness to pay for Russian gas in rubles is an unfriendly position towards our state. Such statements also contradict the consolidated position of the European Union,” the Ukraine foreign ministry said.
Orban said he had, during the call, urged Putin to implement an immediate ceasefire in Ukraine, and he invited the leaders of France,Germany and Ukraine to meet Putin in Budapest.
“Proposals to hold peace talks between Ukraine and Russia in Budapest look cynical,” Kyiv’s statement said.
“If Hungary really wants to help end the war, here’s how to do it: stop destroying unity in the EU, support new anti-Russian sanctions, provide military assistance to Ukraine, and not create additional sources of funding for Russia’s military machine,” the statement said.
It noted Hungary’s relunctance to acknowledge “Russia’s undeniable responsibility” for “atrocities”, and that this could “strenghten Russia’s sense of impunity and encourage it to commit new atrocities against Ukrainian”.
Orban, of any EU leader, had previously had one of the closest relationships to Putin.
During his call with Putin, he reiterated his opposition to Hungary sending weapons to Ukraine and to the embargo EU imposed on Russian energy import on which Hungary is highly dependent