France

Orban appears with a controversial scarf at a match, the Hungarian ambassador summoned by kyiv – RT in French

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Ukraine did not like Viktor Orban wearing a scarf during a football match showing an old map of Hungary, encompassing territories now belonging to Ukraine and other European countries.

The Ukrainian Ministry of Foreign Affairs was indignant on November 22 at images published on social networks of the Hungarian Prime Minister, who came to meet the national football team on November 20 for a friendly match against Greece.

In a photo and video, the leader is indeed seen sporting a scarf which at first glance seems innocuous, but shows a map of Hungary before the First World War which includes territories currently belonging to Ukraine but also to Romania, Serbia, Croatia, Austria, Slovenia. Ethnic Hungarians are still present today in these former territories.

Football is not politics, let’s not see what’s not there

“The promotion of revisionist ideas in Hungary does not contribute to the development of Ukrainian-Hungarian relations and is not in accordance with the principles of European policy,” said Ukrainian Foreign Ministry spokesman Oleg Nikolenko. The Romanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs had also made known its disapproval the day before in the face of a “revisionist gesture”, “against the tide of realities”.

“Football is not politics, let’s not see what is not there,” retorted Viktor Orban on Facebook. Before adding nevertheless: “The national team of Hungary is that of all Hungarians, wherever they live”.

A protest that hides others?

kyiv quickly summoned the Hungarian ambassador. This controversy adds to the bad relations that kyiv and Budapest have had recently, due to the hostility of Hungarian leaders to sanctions, particularly energy, against Russia, and their conciliatory position within the European Union.

The Hungarian Prime Minister in particular qualified on November 18 the sanctions of Brussels against Moscow of “step towards the war” and “dangerous”. Viktor Orban also opposes, amid disagreements with the European Union on its internal policy, the European Commission’s proposal to grant Ukraine aid of 18 billion euros for 2023, in the form of loans whose interests would be borne by the Member States. Instead, it offers loans granted by each country in bilateral agreements.

Another recent point of friction, the statements of Ukrainian President Zelensky who accused Russia of having targeted Poland with a missile. An accusation which turned out to be false, but which could have had tragic consequences between Russia and NATO. “In such a situation, world leaders speak responsibly,” admonished Gergely Gulyas, chief of staff to Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban.

Hungary had also refused in the first moments of the Russian special operation in Ukraine that lethal weapons transit through its territory to reach Ukraine, which had been reproached to it by the Ukrainian leaders.

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