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Prime Minister Orbán in Warsaw

February 21st, 2015

After PM’s Orbán visit to Warsaw and his uneasy talks with the Polish Prime Minister over Russia and Ukraine, a conservative columnist accuses Poland of subservience to Washington. A left-wing commentator, on the other hand, believes that Mr Orbán has lost all credibility in Poland.

PM Orbán in Warsaw received the prestigious Polish Chamber of Commerce Golden Umbrella award honouring major contributions to Poland’s economic and trade relations. After meeting Polish Prime Minister Ewa Kopacz, PM Orbán said friendship with Poland will always be dear to Hungarian hearts. PM Kopacz in a lukewarm comment stressed the importance of unity in the EU and among the V4 countries in defending Ukraine’s independence. Major media outlets in Hungary interpret her words as criticism of Hungary’s strategy towards Russia (see BudaPost February 19).

The Ukraine crisis created a rift in the traditional friendship between Hungary and Poland , Gábor Stier writes in Magyar Nemzet. The pro-government columnist writes that Poland has become increasingly pro-US and anti-Russian, while the Hungarian government tries to balance between the great powers. Poland’s stance is strongly motivated by past experience, so the Polish government uncritically follows Washington because it considers the US the main guarantee of Polish independence, he explains. Stier fears that the Polish government’s geopolitical strategy might weaken cooperation both within the EU and the Visegrad 4 (Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Hungary).

In Népszava, Róbert Friss thinks that PM Orbán went to Warsaw to counterbalance Russian President Putin’s visit to Hungary and to explain why it is important for Hungary to maintain good ties with Russia.  The left-wing columnist contends that Mr Orbán has failed in his efforts, and has lost his credibility in Poland as a result of his compromising approach to Russia.

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