Polish, Czech PMs call on Hungary to condemn Russian crimes in Ukraine
Mateusz Morawiecki, the Polish prime minister, and his Czech counterpart, Petr Fiala, have appealed to Hungary to "unequivocally condemn" the Russian crimes in Ukraine.
The two were asked at a press conference, on Friday, following their meeting in Warsaw about the further functioning of the Visegrad Group or V4 format bringing together Poland, the Czech and Slovak republics and Hungary.
Morawiecki said that the V4 format still exists, but "we need to clarify very thoroughly the issues related to Russia's aggression towards Ukraine."
"We fundamentally disagree with Hungary's attitude towards Ukraine today... and we expect an unequivocal and very strong position, from Budapest, condemning the Russian crimes in Ukraine,” he said. "This is indeed a very important condition, because we cannot close our eyes to what is happening there," he said.
"We want this position to be very clear and in line with what we believe to be appropriate," Fiala added.
The Polish criticism of Hungary comes despite the two having enjoyed a strong relationship. Poland and Hungary were seen as ideological allies in their mutual battles with EU, but the Ukraine war appears to have driven a wedge between with the Polish government, a leading advocate of tough sanctions, frustrated with Budapest's softer attitude.
In early April, Viktor Orban, the Hungarian prime minister, told a press conference in Budapest that his country would not yield to pressure and would not support sanctions against Russia, which would include abandoning the purchase of Russian gas and oil.
When asked about the apparent Russian killings of civilians in Bucha near Kyiv, Orban said that all claims needed to be independently verified because "we live in a time of mass manipulation."