Lined up: the heads of government Orbán (Hungary), Fiala (Czech Republic), Heger (Slovakia), and Morawiecki (Poland) on Thursday in Košice, Slovakia
At the beginning of 2023, the NATO accession of the two Nordic countries should be ratified. Orbán and Slovakian Prime Minister Heger are trying to relax after the scarf scandal.
Ungarn has announced that it will ratify Sweden and Finland’s accession to NATO. “The government has made the decision, we have already informed Sweden and Finland,” said Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán on Thursday in Kosice, Slovakia. There he took part in the meeting of the heads of government of the Visegrád Group (V4), which consists of Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Hungary. Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said at the joint press conference that Orbán had assured him that this would happen in the first parliamentary session next year, “that is, in a little over a month”.
The meeting was marred by Hungary’s contrasting stance on the other three V4 members regarding Russia’s war against those in Ukraine. Hungary regards the sanctions policy as a failure, wants to limit aid to Ukraine to humanitarian causes and bans arms deliveries across its territory. A meeting of the V4 parliamentary speakers was canceled at the instigation of the Czech side in particular.
Czech Prime Minister Petr Fiala said: “This format is not going through the best of times.” He also pointed out that Orbán recently had his picture taken with a scarf showing the outlines of the former “Greater Hungary” – including the areas that today belong to neighboring countries. Slovak Prime Minister Eduard Heger softened the criticism that his foreign minister had previously voiced harshly: he found that Orbán had an outdated scarf and gave him a new one, he wrote on social media under a photo showing himself with Orbán, both wrapped in a Slovak fan scarf.