Poland attacks ally Hungary over Ukraine
Poland has criticised its long-time ally Hungary over its refusal to allow military transports to Ukraine and for failing to take Ukraine's side in the conflict with Russia.
Marcin Przydacz, a Polish deputy foreign minister, said on Monday that Viktor Orban, the Hungarian prime minister who faces a general election on Sunday, "is making a mistake."
"My opinion is as follows: Viktor Orban is making a mistake by pursuing this policy towards Ukraine and Russia, and I believe the policy is short-sighted, likely influenced by internal and campaign matters," Przydacz told TVN24.
Przydacz said that Poland was pursuing "a totally different policy towards Russia and Ukraine."
However, "we don't have to agree with our partners on everything," Przydacz said.
The criticism reflects a falling out between two governments that have been united by ideological similarities and a mutual antipathy towards the EU.
The European Commission has been running infringement procedures against both Warsaw and Budapest over their justice reforms. The two capitals have been at odds with Brussels over a range of other issues, including LGBTQ and women's rights, and so far have supported each other in the conflict with the EU.
The Polish and Hungarian ruling party leaders, Jarosław Kaczyński and Viktor Orban, have been long-time friends, and before his 2015 parliamentary victory, Kaczyński even said he was dreaming of "Budapest in Warsaw."
But Orban has long cultivated close ties with Vladimir Putin, much to Poland's frustration, and now the Russian invasion of Ukraine on February 24 and the resulting wave of millions of refugees, mostly heading towards Poland, seems to have finally soured the Polish-Hungarian relationship.
Polish President Andrzej Duda told the private broadcaster TVN24 on Saturday that "confronted with the deaths of thousands of people, it is difficult to understand the position of Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban."
However, Duda admitted that Orban could be in "a difficult situation," as Hungary is "almost totally dependent on Russia."
Poland and Hungary are also members of the regional cooperation format, the Visegrad Group (V4), together with the Czech Republic and Slovakia.
The Czechs seem to dislike Hungary's stance towards the military conflict as well. The Czech defence minister, Jana Cernochova, tweeted on Friday that she would not attend a V4 defence ministers' meeting in Hungary, arguing she did not want to take part in any political campaigns and was critical of Budapest's approach to the war in Ukraine.
"I always supported V4 and I'm sorry that it is cheap Russian oil that is more important for Hungarian politicians than Ukrainian blood," she wrote.
On Monday evening, the Left parliamentary caucus head, Krzysztof Gawkowski, told a Polsat private television programme that Defence Minister Mariusz Błaszczak had announced during a meeting of the National Security Council, hosted by the president earlier in the day, that he would not take part in a meeting of his V4 counterparts in Budapest, either.