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President Novák attends Warsaw NATO summit

February 24th, 2023

A pro-government analyst praises the President’s role in explaining Hungary’s stance on Ukraine to NATO allies, while a left-wing columnist suggests that the government side is transmitting contradictory messages on the issue.

In Magyar Nemzet, Mihály Rosonczy-Kovács remarks that President Katalin Novák is playing an increasingly active diplomatic role, representing Hungary on the world stage. Addressing the summit of the nine East-European NATO member countries, which was also attended by US President Biden, she stressed Hungary’s humanitarian and medical assistance to Ukraine since the war began a year ago. Rosonczy-Kovács, a specialist on Russia and Poland, hopes that the President managed to rectify what he describes as a distorted image many in Poland, Hungary’s chief ally, have of Hungary because of its different approach to the war.

Népszava’s András Rostoványi, on the other hand, discerns marked differences between the messages various Hungarian leaders send on the war in Ukraine. He believes Ms Novák strikes a more friendly tone towards Western allies and Ukraine than Foreign Minister Szíjjártó, whom he describes as specializing in confrontational messages to allies. As for the Prime Minister, the left-wing columnist writes that Mr Orbán rails against the sanctions on Russia, whilst never vetoing package after package. Meanwhile, Rostoványi describes the pro-government press as ‘a pack of fighting dogs’, constantly barking at the European Union and NATO, but ‘muzzled’ when President Novák strikes a friendly tone towards fellow members of the two alliances.


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