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CNN —Slovakia’s Prime Minister Robert Fico was in a life-threatening condition in hospital Wednesday after he was shot multiple times in an assassination attempt. Slovakia's Prime Minister Robert Fico attends a European Council summit in Brussels, on April 18, 2024. Kenzo Tribouillard/AFP via Getty Images/FILEFico previously served as Slovakia’s prime minister for more than a decade, first between 2006 and 2010 and then again from 2012 to 2018. European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, tweeted: “I strongly condemn the vile attack on Prime Minister Robert Fico. My thoughts are with PM Fico, his family.”And Hungarian Prime Minister Orban added: “I was deeply shocked by the heinous attack against my friend, Prime Minister Robert Fico.
Persons: CNN —, Robert Fico, Fico, Zuzana Čaputová, “ I’m, Roberto Fico, ” Čaputová, upend, , , Vladimir Putin, Viktor Orban, Kenzo Tribouillard, Jan Kuciak, Martina Kušnírová, Kuciak, Ursula von der Leyen, Orban Organizations: CNN, CNN — Slovakia’s, Facebook, Ukraine, NATO, Kremlin, Hungary’s, European Union, Slovakia's, Getty Locations: Handlova, Banska Bystrica, Bratislava, Slovak, Ukraine, Brussels, AFP, Hungarian
The American right’s growing embrace of Orbán builds upon millions of dollars that his government has spent on lobbying in the US, and new connections between Hungarian and American conservative think tanks. “Make America great again, make Europe great again!” Orbán declared in English, before continuing in Hungarian: “Go Donald Trump! Conservatives from around the US, Europe and beyond traveled to Budapest for the two-day event, which was organized by a Hungarian government-funded think tank. Two American nonprofits that are actively planning policies for a second Trump term have shown an interest in Hungary and Orbán’s model. But some of the American conservatives who flew into the country for CPAC seemed more focused on the optics of Budapest than on democratic rights.
Persons: crackdowns, , Viktor Orbán, Orbán, Donald Trump’s, ” Orbán, Donald Trump !, ” Trump, , Trump, Steve Bannon, President Trump, Gladden Pappin, Szilard Koszticsak, White, ” Pappin, “ saviors, Bannon, Kari Lake, Mark Meadows, Andy Harris, Zoltan Mathe, Paul Gosar, Christopher Rufo, István, Ron DeSantis, Trumpists, Kim Lane Scheppele, Orbán’s, Zsuzsanna Szelényi, ” Szelényi, Márton Gulyás, influencers strode, Joey Mannarino, ” Kyung Lah, Anna, Maja Rappard, Casey Tolan, Curt Devine Organizations: Hungary CNN —, Republican, Conservative, Trump, European Union, Hungarian Institute of International Affairs, Conservative Political, “ Conservative, White House, , Republican Arizona, CNN, Department of Justice, Southern Poverty Law, Heritage Foundation, America, Policy Institute, Institute, Florida Gov, Princeton Locations: Budapest, Hungary, American, Europe, Lago, Dallas, America, Hungarian, Arizona, United States, Paul Gosar of Arizona, Florida, “ Hungary, marveled, New York, Washington
Hungary's Prime Minister Viktor Orban arrives to attend a European Council summit at the EU headquarters in Brussels on March 21, 2024. Sameer Al-doumy | Afp | Getty ImagesHungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban has run into political trouble ahead of European parliamentary elections in June, with his ruling party shaken by two political scandals within six weeks. Orban is a long-time ally of former U.S. President Donald Trump and widely seen as Russian President Vladimir Putin's closest supporter in the European Union. The right-wing leader has led the central European country since 2010, making him the EU's longest-serving head of state. Yet two major scandals have recently rocked his dominance of Budapest's political landscape at a sensitive time when Hungary is poised to hold both local and European elections in early June.
Persons: Viktor Orban, Sameer Al, Orban, Donald Trump, Vladimir Putin's, Peter Magyar, Janos Kummer, Zsuzsanna Vegh, Vegh, Magyar, Judit Varga —, Katalin Novak, Novak, Varga, William Shakespeare Organizations: Hungary's, EU, Afp, Getty, Hungarian, European Union, Eurasia Group, Fidesz, German Marshall Fund of, CNBC, Facebook, YouTube, Reuters, Lawyer Locations: Brussels, doumy, Hungary, Budapest, United States, Hungarian
Prime Minister Viktor Orban is jeopardizing Hungary’s position as a trusted NATO ally, the U.S. ambassador to Budapest warned on Thursday, with “its close and expanding relationship with Russia,” and with “dangerously unhinged anti-American messaging” in state-controlled media. The ambassador, David Pressman, has for months criticized Mr. Orban for effectively siding with President Vladimir V. Putin of Russa over the war in Ukraine, but his latest remarks sharply ratcheted up tensions and indicated that trust in Hungary among NATO allies had collapsed. Hungary is “an ally that behaves unlike any other” and is “alone on the defining issue of European security of the last quarter century, Russia’s war in Ukraine,” Mr. Pressman said in a speech in Budapest marking the 25th anniversary of Hungary’s admission to the Western military alliance. “We will have to decide how best to protect our security interests, which, as allies, should be our collective security interests,” he added.
Persons: Viktor Orban, , David Pressman, Mr, Orban, Vladimir V, Putin, Russa, ” Mr, Pressman Organizations: NATO Locations: NATO, U.S, Budapest, Russia, Ukraine, Hungary
“Donald Trump with the MAGA Republicans are trying to take away our freedoms,” Biden told the crowd on Friday. “He thinks Putin is a strong — basically, he’s a decent guy,” Biden said of Trump. “Orbán of Hungary, who stated flatly he doesn’t think democracy works — he’s looking for dictatorship.”“That’s who he’s meeting with,” Biden added. Toward the beginning of his speech, Biden referenced the raucous exchange he had the previous night with GOP Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene. “If you’re tired, you probably watched my address last night,” Biden told the crowd.
Persons: Joe Biden, Biden, “ Donald Trump, MAGA, ” Biden, “ That’s, lambasting, Wade, Vladimir Putin, , Putin, Trump, Viktor Orbán, ” “, Marjorie Taylor Greene, , Laken Riley, Greene, flub, Donald Trump, , Riley, he’s, Benjamin Netanyahu, he’d, GOP Sen, Katie Britt’s, ” CNN’s Donald Judd, MJ Lee Organizations: Washington CNN, Union, MAGA Republicans, NATO, Mar, GOP, Georgia Republican, Chamber, Pennsylvania, Israeli Locations: Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Roe, Mar, Hungary, night’s, , Gaza
Former President Donald J. Trump will meet privately with Viktor Orban, the prime minister of Hungary, at Mr. Trump’s club in Florida next week, according to a person briefed on the plans. Mr. Orban is a right-wing nationalist who has waged an aggressive campaign against immigration and has declared that the West “is at war with itself.” He is a longtime ally of Mr. Trump and has close ties to the populist conservative movement in the United States. Mr. Trump has frequently praised Mr. Orban at rallies and in speeches since leaving the White House. Their meeting, which is scheduled to take place at Mr. Trump’s Mar-a-Lago club in Palm Beach next Friday, underscores the degree to which Mr. Trump has tried to establish himself as a sort of president-in-exile. It comes as Mr. Trump is closing in on the Republican presidential nomination and is preparing for the general election campaign against President Biden, who has had a chilly relationship with the Hungarian prime minister.
Persons: Donald J, Viktor Orban, Orban, Trump, Mr, Trump’s, Biden Organizations: Trump, White, Republican Locations: Hungary, Florida, United States, Lago, Palm Beach
It took 19 months of broken promises and belligerent rhetoric for Hungary to finally ratify Sweden’s entry into NATO. Why all the foot-dragging, many observers wondered, when Hungary was going to approve the Nordic country’s membership of the military alliance anyway? That question has perplexed even members of Hungary’s governing party, Fidesz, according to Peter Ungar, an opposition legislator. He said he had been approached by one Fidesz lawmaker, in the run-up to Monday’s vote in Parliament to accept NATO’s expansion, and asked: “‘What the hell is going on with Sweden?’”That a member of Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s governing party would seek an explanation from a rival politician is a measure of how puzzled even allies of the Hungarian leader, never mind his opponents, became over their country delaying NATO’s expansion.
Persons: Peter Ungar, Viktor Orban’s Organizations: NATO, Nordic, Fidesz Locations: Hungary, Sweden
Hungary’s Parliament voted on Monday to approve Sweden as a new member of NATO, allowing the Nordic country to clear a final hurdle that had blocked its membership and held up efforts by the military alliance to isolate Russia over its war in Ukraine. The measure passed after a vote of 188 for and only 6 against in the 199-member Parliament, which is dominated by legislators from the governing Fidesz party of Prime Minister Viktor Orban. On Friday, after his Swedish counterpart, Ulf Kristersson, made a visit to Budapest, the Hungarian capital, Mr. Orban declared the end of a monthslong spat with Sweden over its membership of NATO. Hungary had been stalling for 19 months on ratifying Sweden’s admission, a delay that had puzzled and exasperated the United States and other members of the alliance, raising questions about Hungary’s reliability as a member of the alliance.
Persons: Viktor Orban, Ulf Kristersson, Orban Organizations: NATO, Nordic, Fidesz Locations: Sweden, Russia, Ukraine, Budapest, Hungary, United States
Of the 194 members of parliament who voted, just six rejected Sweden’s accession. NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg confirmed that Sweden will join the alliance now that all allies have approved Sweden’s bid to join. As NATO states, Finland and Sweden will enjoy the protection granted under Article 5 of the treaty that established the alliance – which states that an attack on one member is considered an attack against all. While most NATO members quickly approved Finland and Sweden’s applications, Hungary and Turkey held out for some time. Video Ad Feedback Turkish parliament approves Sweden's NATO membership bid 01:05 - Source: CNNShortly after the Turkish vote, Orban told NATO chief Stoltenberg that his government would also support Swedish membership.
Persons: CNN —, Vladimir Putin, Ulf Kristersson, Viktor Orban, Sweden’s, ” Kristersson, Jens Stoltenberg, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Orban, Stoltenberg, Putin, Luke McGee, Lauren Kent Organizations: CNN, NATO, Stockholm, Swedish, Gripen, , United, Russia, Ukraine, Union, EU, Sweden’s, Budapest, Kyiv Locations: Budapest, Hungary, Swedish, “ Sweden, Sweden, United States, Atlantic Treaty, Eastern Europe, Russia’s, Finland, Russia, Ukraine, Turkey, Stockholm, EU, Europe, Israel
CNN —Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban said his country had opened a new phase with Sweden during a joint press conference with Swedish counterpart Ulf Kristersson on Friday as Budapest prepares to ratify Stockholm’s long-delayed NATO bid. Orban, who said last week that the Hungarian Parliament would vote on ratification on Monday, met with Kristersson on Friday and announced at the press conference that Hungary had bought four fighter jets from Sweden. “Being members together in NATO we [will be] able to reconstruct the full trust towards each other,” Orban added later. Sweden and Finland applied for NATO membership in 2022 and Finland joined NATO in April 2023 – doubling the alliance’s border with Russia. But Sweden’s bid was mired in challenges.
Persons: Viktor Orban, Ulf Kristersson, Orban, Kristersson, , ” Orban, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Vladimir Putin, Katalin Organizations: CNN, Swedish, Budapest, NATO, Russia, Gripen, Kurdistan Workers ’ Party, European Union Locations: Hungarian, Sweden, Hungary, Ukraine, Finland, Russia, Turkey
CNN —US politics is now split by a fault line over Russia that could have far graver global implications even than condemning Ukraine to defeat after President Vladimir Putin’s invasion. Trump has also not repudiated his recent comment that he’d invite Russia to invade NATO nations that fell short of non-binding targets on defense spending. Aside from the mysterious hold that Putin appears to exert over Trump, the ex-president’s hostility towards Ukraine is easily explainable. Opposing aid to Ukraine is also an almost perfect issue for the ex-president and his allies in the GOP primary. These pressures weigh on Republican lawmakers as they cast increasingly tough votes on Ukraine aid.
Persons: Vladimir Putin’s, Donald Trump, Trump, Mike Johnson –, Johnson, Joe Biden, Biden, Volodymyr Zelensky, Russia’s, ” Biden, Zelensky, , Alexey Navalny, Hungary’s Viktor Orban, Putin’s, Putin, Trump’s, Kevin McCarthy’s, hasn’t, Ohio Sen, JD Vance, Ukraine “, Vladimir Putin, ” Vance, Barack Obama, , , Vance, Nikki Haley, Haley, Sen, Pete Ricketts, Ricketts, ’ ” Ricketts, , ’ ”, It’s, Mitch McConnell Organizations: CNN, Donald Trump Republicans, NATO, Trump, GOP, Senate, Republican, Soviet, European Union, Russian, Republican Party, Republicans, Munich, Ohio, United, Chicago Council, Global Affairs, Trump Republicans, Ukraine Locations: Russia, Ukraine, Europe, Avdiivka, Russian, Kremlin, America, United States, Munich, China, , Ohio, Crimea, East Asia, Beijing, Moscow, Iran, North Korea, we’re, ’ ” The Nebraska, Soviet Union
Orban has long posed as a globetrotting defender of Christian values and an enemy of liberalism. But Orban’s critics say his carefully constructed image is a thin guise for a plutocratic mode of governance designed to enrich a small group of oligarchs. The scandal could also weaken Hungary’s bid to gain more influence in Brussels in the upcoming European elections. Since the scandal was revealed last weekend by Hungarian news site 444.hu, “Orban has not made an appearance or said anything. Critics argue that Orban’s proposed constitutional solution to the scandal is a symptom of his autocratic mode of governance.
Persons: CNN —, Viktor Orban, Katalin Novak, Orban’s, , Judit Varga, Fidesz party’s, Varga, Orban, Hungary’s, “ Orban, Kim Lane Scheppele, Attila Kisbendek, Peter Magyar, , ” Magyar, Magyar, Hungary ”, ” Orban, Critics, ” Scheppele, Hungary –, Bernadett Szabo, Scheppele, , illiberal, ’ ”, Pope Francis, Eva Fodor, Fodor, Attila Kisbenedek, Zoltan Balog, Balog, hasn’t, Mark Rutte, Europe’s, he’s Organizations: CNN, CNN — Hungary’s, Fidesz, European Union, Princeton University, Partizan, State of, Reuters, Survey, Christian, Central European University, Getty Locations: Washington, Moscow, Brussels, Budapest, AFP, Varga’s, Hungary, State, Christian Europe, China, Venezuela, , Netherlands
Many worry that a second term for Trump would be an earthquake, but tremors already abound — and concerns are rising that the U.S. could grow less dependable regardless of who wins. Photos You Should See View All 21 ImagesBiden, in contrast, has made support for Ukraine a key priority and moral imperative. But many of America's European NATO allies are worried that with or without Trump, the U.S. is becoming less reliable. German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said he was “currently on the phone a lot with my colleagues and asking them to do more” to support Ukraine. Dalton, a former U.K. ambassador to Iran, said prospects for the Middle East would be “slightly worse” under Trump than Biden.
Persons: Joe Biden, Donald Trump, Emmanuel Macron’s, Trump, Germany’s Angela Merkel, Britain’s Theresa May, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Vladimir Putin, Viktor Orbán “, , Biden, Richard Dalton, Olaf Scholz, , Scholz, Macron, ” Macron, Boris Johnson, ” Johnson, Putin, Johnson, ” Bronwen Maddox, ” Trump, hasn't, , Dalton, implore Biden, Itamar Ben, Israel, Turkey’s Erdogan, Sergey Lavrov, George W, Zhao Minghao, ” “, Jiwon, Kirsten Grieshaber, Dasha, Suzan Fraser, Nomaan Merchant Organizations: U.S, Trump, NATO, Congressional Republicans, Centre, Politics, University College London, Mail, Associated Press, Hamas, White, Russian, CBS, Biden, Fudan University Locations: U.S, gridlock, Congress, Ukraine, Europe, United States, British, German, Germany, ” Russia, China, Iran, North Korea, Russia, Tehran, Dalton, Israel, Gaza, Turkey, Shanghai, Seoul, South Korea, Berlin, Dasha Litvinova, Tallinn, Estonia, Ankara, Washington
CNN —Hungarian President Katalin Novak has announced that she is resigning from office following mounting public criticism over her decision to pardon a man implicated in a child sexual abuse case. Thousands of protesters took to the streets of the country’s capital Budapest on Friday, calling for Novak to step down. Protesters took to the streets in Hungary this week. Bernadett Szabo/ReutersNovak is a close ally of Hungary’s hardline nationalist prime minister Viktor Orbán and was the former family minister. Saturday’s address was her final one as president, less than two years after she took office.
Persons: Katalin Novak, , ” Novak, , Novak, Pope Francis –, Protesters, Bernadett Szabo, Viktor Orbán Organizations: CNN, Reuters Locations: Budapest, Doha, Hungarian, Hungary
BUDAPEST, Hungary (AP) — Antifascist activists gathered in Hungary's capital on Saturday to oppose an annual commemoration held by far-right groups, underscoring diplomatic tensions between Budapest and Rome over the detention of an Italian citizen in a Hungarian jail. Hundreds of activists marched through central Budapest alongside a heavy police presence, and called for “freedom for every antifascist." The demonstration came as an Italian antifascist activist is being held in a Hungarian jail for allegedly being involved in assaults against suspected participants in the Day of Honor commemoration in Budapest last year. Images of the activist, Ilaria Salis, chained and shackled at a Budapest court hearing sparked official protests by the Italian government. The case is delicate for the far-right-led government of Meloni, who has forged friendly ties with the nationalist Orbán.
Persons: , , Ilaria Salis, Luca Kruczynski, , Salis, , Giorgia Meloni, Viktor Orbán, Salis ’, Antonio Tajani, Carlo Nordio, Nordio, Tajani, Elly Schlein, Giorgia Meloni’s, Schlein, Colleen Barry Organizations: Nazi, Prosecutors, Hungarian, Meloni, Italy's, Democratic Party, Associated Press Locations: BUDAPEST, Hungary, Budapest, Rome, Hungarian, Italian, Berlin, Europe, Milan, Salis, Italy, Hungary’s, Salis ’ Hungarian
Donald J. Trump has praised Hungary’s prime minister, Viktor Orban, for his leadership of Turkey, and confused Nikki Haley and Nancy Pelosi. President Biden has named dead former European leaders when describing his contemporary peers, and referred to Egypt as Mexico. The episodes might have raised parallel concerns about age and mental acuity. Instead, while Mr. Biden, 81, has been increasingly dogged by doubts and concerns about his advancing years from voters, Mr. Trump, who is 77, has not felt the same political blowback. Fewer than half of voters have expressed similar misgivings about Mr. Trump.
Persons: Donald J, Trump, Viktor Orban, Nikki Haley, Nancy Pelosi, Biden Organizations: New York Times, Siena College Locations: Turkey, Egypt, Mexico
BRUSSELS (AP) — U.S. national security adviser Jake Sullivan said that he and his NATO counterparts cautioned Hungary on Wednesday against further delaying Sweden’s membership in the military alliance, and he warned that patience in Washington has its limits. The governing Fidesz party, which holds an absolute majority in Hungary's parliament, has stalled Sweden’s bid since July 2022, alleging that Swedish politicians have told “blatant lies” about the state of Hungarian democracy. The party insists that Sweden’s prime minister must come to Hungary first. The country, along with the other 30 allies, must all agree that Sweden should stand among NATO’s ranks. Hungary is the only member standing in its way.
Persons: Jake Sullivan, Viktor Orbán, Hungary’s, , ” Sullivan, Sullivan, , Orbán, Ulf Kristersson Organizations: , NATO, Wednesday, Fidesz, Sweden’s, Kremlin, Swedish Locations: BRUSSELS, Hungary, Washington, Hungarian, Hungary's, Sweden, Brussels, Finland, Russia, Ukraine, U.S, Budapest
Just days after a major showdown between the European Union and Hungary over aid to Ukraine, the European Commission on Wednesday announced it was opening a new disciplinary procedure against the Hungarian government over a recently passed piece of legislation that focuses on activities by foreigners deemed subversive. The move comes on top of several other open disciplinary procedures against Hungary that the European Commission, the E.U. executive branch, has been pursuing against the government of the Hungarian prime minister, Viktor Orban. Mr. Orban has long denounced the battles with Brussels, which he says pits a “woke globalist Goliath” against Hungary’s “David.” He has maintained that the European Union is out to punish him for pursuing a Christian conservative agenda, which he says is in line with the wishes of the Hungarian people. The action by the commission centers on recently passed legislation in Hungary that seeks to punish interactions between Hungarian individuals or organizations, and foreigners or foreign groups that a newly created Office for the Defense of Sovereignty deems subversive.
Persons: Viktor Orban, Mr, Orban, globalist Goliath, Hungary’s “ David, Organizations: European Union, European Commission, Wednesday, European, Defense, Sovereignty Locations: Hungary, Ukraine, Hungarian, Brussels
The governing Fidesz party, which holds an absolute majority in parliament, has stalled Sweden’s bid since July 2022, alleging that Swedish politicians have told “blatant lies” about the condition of Hungary’s democracy. “The prime minister pledged to convene parliament to urge parliament to act at its earliest opportunity. Kristersson has said that he will make the trip, but only after Hungary approves his country's NATO membership. But Vadai, the lawmaker, said that there was no guarantee that Orbán's party would commit to a swift approval. “I’m not sure whether the opening session will start with the Swedish ratification, unfortunately,” she said.
Persons: Viktor Orbán, Hungary's, Orbán, Jens Stoltenberg, , didn't, David Pressman, Pressman, expeditiously, Sen, Ben Cardin, Agnes Vadai, , it’s, Ulf Kristersson, Kristersson, “ I’m Organizations: — Lawmakers, NATO, Fidesz, U.S, Maryland Democrat, Senate Foreign Relations, , Democratic Coalition, Associated Press, Swedish Locations: BUDAPEST, Hungary, Hungarian, United States, NATO, U.S, Maryland, Budapest, Swedish, Hungary's
BUDAPEST, Hungary (AP) — A bipartisan group of U.S. lawmakers are urging Hungary to immediately ratify Sweden's application to join NATO, saying patience with the Central European country is “wearing thin” as it continues to delay its approval for the Nordic nation. “Despite its numerous prior public commitments, Hungary is the last remaining NATO member to have not ratified Sweden’s bid and both time and patience are wearing thin. Hungary’s inaction risks irrevocably damaging its relationship with the United States and with NATO,” the senators wrote. Orbán, a staunch nationalist that has led Hungary since 2010, has long promised that his country wouldn't be the last NATO member to approve Sweden's application. Photos You Should See View All 45 ImagesA vote on the protocols for Sweden’s NATO accession hasn’t yet appeared on the Hungarian parliament’s agenda, and the matter is unlikely to go before lawmakers until at least late February when the parliament reconvenes.
Persons: Jeanne Shaheen, Thom Tillis, Viktor Orbán, Orbán, Sen, Ben Cardin, ” Cardin, Biden, Cardin, , Organizations: NATO, Central, New, New Hampshire Democrat, North Carolina Republican, Hungarian, Maryland Democrat, Senate Foreign Relations, U.S, Visa, Global, European Union Locations: BUDAPEST, Hungary, U.S, Nordic, Budapest, Sens, New Hampshire, United States, Ukraine, Maryland, Washington
Ukraine: EU agrees $50bn funding deal
  + stars: | 2024-02-01 | by ( Luke Mcgee | ) edition.cnn.com   time to read: +4 min
#Unity All 27 leaders agreed on an additional €50 billion support package for Ukraine within the EU budget,” the EU Council’s President Charles Michel wrote on X, formerly known as Twitter. “Grateful to @CharlesMichel and EU leaders for establishing the €50 billion Ukraine Facility for 2024-2027,” he tweeted. Orban had held up the deal on the grounds he did not want the funds to come from the EU budget, meaning funds would be taken from EU member states and sent to Ukraine. Critics of Orban were quick to accuse him of blocking the deal because the EU is currently withholding funds for Ukraine due to it breaching rule of law requirements. The diplomat said the deal as outlined by Michel does not unlock EU funds for Hungary, though the summit will continue throughout Thursday.
Persons: Viktor Orban, Charles Michel, , Volodymyr Zelensky, didn’t, Orban, Critics, Michel, Vladimir Putin, , Josep Borrell, ” Borrell Organizations: CNN, European Union, Hungary’s, Kyiv, EU, “ EU, Ukraine, Reuters Locations: Ukraine, Russian, United States, Washington, , Russia, European, Hungary, Brussels, Europe
Ukraine: Europe is braced for a showdown on funding
  + stars: | 2024-01-31 | by ( Luke Mcgee | ) edition.cnn.com   time to read: +7 min
Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban says he doesn’t oppose European funding for Ukraine, but is insisting that the money should not come out of the EU’s budget. It is widely suspected that Orban is using his veto on the funds for Ukraine to force Brussels into unlocking the money for Hungary. Beyond Europe, there are also major concerns about what a second Donald Trump presidency would mean for Ukraine and European security as a whole. As the Ukraine crisis approaches the two-year mark it is becoming increasingly difficult for Europe to manage. On the other, the consequences of Ukraine losing the war could be unconscionable for the rest of Europe.
Persons: Viktor Orban, Orban, Critics, Balázs, , Jens Stoltenberg, Francois Mori, Vladimir Putin, Donald Trump, Trump, Putin Organizations: CNN —, European Union, Kyiv, EU, CNN, Financial Times, Ukraine, , NATO, Getty, Hungarian, European Council, Foreign Affairs Locations: Brussels, Ukraine, Hungary, Russian, United States, Washington, Hungarian, “ Brussels, there’s, Budapest, Kyiv, AFP, Russia, Israel, EU, Europe
CNN —From the start of Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine, Hungary has been the weakest link in the West’s response. That’s why there’s so much attention on a meeting on Monday between the foreign ministers of Hungary and Ukraine. Hungary has frustrated European and US-led efforts to support Ukraine for the best part of two years. But time and again, they have blocked important action to support Ukraine and strengthen the Western alliance,” a German foreign affairs official told CNN. But that is what the vast majority of European officials think we are likely to see in the coming months.
Persons: Vladimir Putin’s, Viktor Orban, Orban, Vladimir Putin, Jens Stoltenberg, Francois Mori, Orban tantrums, Sean Gallup, hasn’t, , Putin, John Thys, Organizations: CNN, EU, Hungarian, Ukraine, NATO, Getty, Russia, Kremlin, Putin Locations: Ukraine, Hungary, Russia, Brussels, Europe, Hungarian, AFP, brinksmanship, Finland, Sweden, Turkish, Hungary’s, Budapest, Moscow, Scandinavia, Balkans
Bowing to a Hungarian demand for negotiations over the expansion of NATO, the prime minister of Sweden on Thursday agreed to hold talks with Hungary’s leader, Viktor Orban, the last obstacle blocking the Nordic nation’s admission to the military alliance. A vote by Turkey’s parliament on Tuesday to accept Sweden as a member of the alliance, however, left Hungary as the only holdout and strengthened Mr. Orban’s leverage. It also intensified accusations abroad that he was effectively holding Sweden’s membership for ransom. In a sign that Mr. Orban intended to use his leverage, Laszlo Kover, a close ally of the Hungarian prime minister and the speaker of Parliament, indicated Thursday that he was in no hurry to put the matter to a vote. Parliament is in recess and is not scheduled to return until Feb. 15.
Persons: Viktor Orban, Ulf Kristersson, Orban, , Laszlo Kover Organizations: NATO, Nordic, Budapest Locations: Sweden, Swedish, United States, Hungary
BUDAPEST, Hungary (AP) — With Turkey completing its ratification of Sweden's bid to join NATO, Hungary is the last member of the military alliance not to have given its approval. Orbán has long promised that Hungary wouldn't be the last NATO member to ratify Sweden's request to join the alliance. Yet Orbán's critics say that there is no such schism within his party, and that when it comes to Hungary's approval of Sweden's NATO membership, Orbán alone is in control. Hungary's opposition parties, which favor Sweden's membership in NATO, have made several attempts over the past year to schedule a vote on the matter. “Anybody who believed that it’s in the hands of the governing party lawmakers was seriously mistaken,” she said.
Persons: Viktor Orbán, Orbán, Hungary wouldn't, , Agnes Vadai, parliament's, It’s, , he'd, Ulf Kristersson, Kristersson hasn't, Tobias Billström, Budapest hasn't, he’d, Jens Stoltenberg, Dorka, Kristersson, , ” Vadai, Vladimir Putin, Vadai, Orbán's Organizations: , Turkey, NATO, Central European, Fidesz, European Union, Democratic Coalition, Ministry of Defense, Hungary, Centre, Integration Locations: BUDAPEST, Hungary, Budapest, Sweden, Turkey, Stockholm, Swedish, Ukraine, NATO
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