Janša regrets political clashes over Hungary’s Ukraine stance

Photo: STA

Brussels – Prime Minister Janez Janša, arriving at day two of EU summit proceedings in Brussels on Friday, regretted political clashes over things he believes are unimportant in war as he commented on Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky’s criticism of Hungary’s attitude towards Ukraine during the Russian invasion.

Zelensky addressed via video the EU summit on Thursday saying that the EU had acted too late, while thanking several EU members, including Slovenia, for their support.

He was rather reserved about a few countries, including Germany for acting a bit too late, while leveraging the strongest criticism at Hungary.

Zelensky urged Hungarian PM Viktor Orban to “decide which side the country is on” as he criticised him for hesitating with sanctions and severing business ties with Russia, and for not allowing lethal weapons to travel to Ukraine across Hungary.

Janša said as he arrived at the summit that the Ukrainian president was critical of Hungary and Germany.

According to Janša, Hungary’s attitude towards Ukraine is about a dispute over the Hungarian minority and language in Ukraine and the pre-election sentiment in Hungary.

“It’s largely about political rhetoric, while Hungary has not blocked any sanctions or other serious measures so far,” said Janša.

He also noted that one of the four new battlegroups NATO is deploying in Europe in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine will be stationed in Hungary.

“I regret clashes over these things which are unimportant at the time when people are dying,” added Janša.

He is happy that EU leaders had managed to include in the Ukraine conclusions part of the text adopted by G7, namely a direct mention of Mariupol, where there is “suffering of epic proportions”.

Janša deems it important to mention specific places rather than talk in general terms, arguing it is important for people to know they have not been forgotten.

Together with his Polish and Czech counterparts, Janša outlined in detail to EU and NATO leaders the talks the three prime ministers had in Kyiv during their 15 March visit, and the proposals Ukraine had made.

Janša said Ukraine had presented “very focussed and concrete proposals of sanctions and of measures to help it” which now have to be translated into formal decisions.

The leaders were extremely interested in the messages and documents the three prime ministers brought from Kyiv, with Janša saying that “this is communication that is not possible via electronic means”.