During a meeting in Budapest with his Hungarian counterpart Viktor Orban on January 16, Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico promised to veto any decisions aimed at restricting Hungary’s rights in the European Union.
Fico was commenting on the European Parliament’s intentions to adopt resolutions criticizing the situation with the rule of law in Slovakia and Hungary, in particular the intention to deprive the latter of its voting rights in the EU.
The Slovakian prime minister emphasized that he would never agree to punishing a country for fighting for its sovereignty and national interests and added that any restriction of Hungary’s rights requires the consent of all EU member states.
“I, Robert Fico, Prime Minister of the Slovak Republic, declare that I will never agree with such an attack on Hungary, as it contradicts my views on the importance of sovereignty and protection of the national interests of individual EU member states,” Fico concluded.
Last week, Finnish MEP Petri Sarvamaa proposed to apply a procedure against Hungary under Article 7(2) of the EU Treaty. It provides for the possibility of suspending certain rights, including voting rights in the EU Council, against a state that has repeatedly violated the values of the European Union.
The petition was published after the President of the European Council, Charles Michel, announced that he would leave his post early to run for the European Parliament.
This could strengthen Orban’s role in the EU; he will temporarily preside over the European Council if EU leaders fail to find a replacement for Michel.
Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico, after meeting with Viktor Orban, also said that he supports his “legitimate” opposition to changes to the EU budget to allocate 50 billion euros in aid to Ukraine.
Fico commented on Hungary’s position of blocking the revision of the EU budget to create a four-year support program for Ukraine, stating that even if these funds are allocated “in two or three years,” there will be no change.
“There are a hundred thousand more dead soldiers on each side, and no one will move forward. The Russians will continue their military control over Donetsk and Luhansk. Of course, they will not leave Crimea, but Russia’s negotiating position will improve,” he added.
“Let’s find some other method to solve this problem, but if someone thinks that we will invest $50 billion, send hundreds of new weapons, and solve something, we will not solve anything; we will just guarantee the death of another 200 thousand dead people there,” Fico said.
Later, he resorted to a blatant repetition of the Russian propaganda thesis that the West “forbade the Ukrainian political leadership to conclude a truce” with Russia at the beginning of the full-scale invasion because it “relied on the fact that by pouring billions and weapons into Ukraine, Ukraine would bring a wounded Russian bear on a plate.”
After his meeting with Fico, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban reiterated his opposition to the approval of a four-year, 50 billion euro macro-financial support program for Ukraine, arguing that such assistance “should not harm the EU budget.”