- 13 Apr 2023 1:15 PM
- Hungary Matters
Pressman told an extraordinary international press conference that sanctions were imposed on the “Budapest-based, Russia-controlled International Investment Bank (IIB) and three of its senior executives resident in Hungary, including one Hungarian national: Nikolay Kosov, Georgy Potapov, and Imre Lászlóczki.”
Lászlóczki, currently a deputy head of IIB, earlier served as Hungary’s Ambassador to Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan. “We have concerns about the continued eagerness of Hungarian leaders to expand and deepen ties with the Russian Federation,” Pressman said.
"We have concerns about the continued eagerness of Hungarian leaders to expand & deepen ties with the Russian Federation despite Russia’s ongoing brutal aggression against Ukraine and threat to transatlantic security," the US Ambassador wrote on Twitter.
Gulyás: US Diplomacy Pressuring Hungary Into Pro-War Position
US diplomacy has not given up on efforts to pressure Hungary into taking a pro-war position, but the government maintains the view that peace is in the common interest, the head of the Prime Minister’s Office said.
Referring to a billboard campaign, Gergely Gulyás told a government press briefing that “everyone can see in the streets in recent days” that instead of the opposition pursuing a campaign funded by US sources, the US embassy “is now directly running a campaign” in Hungary.
“This is unusual, especially unusual among allies,” he said, adding that “the greatest problem” was that the US campaign “is a pro-war campaign”.
“It is a common interest that there should be ceasefire and peace talks as soon as possible” he said. Gulyás said that Hungary would not yield to US pressure, and saving lives could only be achieved through a ceasefire and peace talks, precisely at a time when “neither side can win this war”.
He said Hungary abided by “international law” and had condemned Russia’s aggression and provided humanitarian aid to Ukraine with a focus on Transcarpathia.
In response to a journalist’s question, Gulyás called the billboard campaign “unfortunate”, especially amid a political climate in which “organisations openly connected to the democratic administration contributed large funds to the Hungarian opposition’s 2022 election campaign”.
The minister called this interference in Hungarian domestic politics. “This is not right,” he said. “So far it’s billboards, but this campaign may easily run on other surfaces in the future,” Gulyás said.
Asked about a press conference by US Ambassador to Hungary David Pressman scheduled for later on Wednesday, Gulyás vowed to give a reaction if anything said at the event referred to the Hungarian government.
He added that it was regrettable that the press portal index.hu was being barred from the ambassador’s press conference.
US Left-Wing Jibes Against Hungary 'Ideological' - American Scholar
American left-wing jibes against Hungary are ideological, Christopher Rufo, senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute, has told an event in Budapest, adding that the US state apparatus had been taken over by “radical left-wing ideologies”.
Rufo, a guest of the Danube Institute, said Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, a potential presidential candidate of the Republican Party, was successful at confronting wokism, critical race theory and other left-wing ideologies, and he knew how to stop the advance of institutional wokism.
Hungary, he said, had highlighted how it was possible to combat radical left-wing ideological trends, referring to moves to strengthen church education and train a conservative elite as examples, according to a press release of the event on Wednesday.
Rufo said Hungary was an inspiration to Western conservatives, which is why the country was on the receiving end of criticism from the mainstream press.
On the subject of possible US sanctions against Hungary, he insisted that the country was being attacked by US foreign policy for ideological reasons, and he encouraged the government to continue to resist such pressure.