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Tusk says Orban government 'openly' supports Russian positions

by Nate Ostiller and The Kyiv Independent news desk December 8, 2023 6:20 PM 2 min read
Donald Tusk, the leader of the Civic Coalition, speaking during a press conference in Warsaw, Poland, on Nov. 21, 2023. (Andrzej Iwanczuk/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
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Donald Tusk, the leader of the Polish Civic Coalition (KO) and victor in recent Polish elections, said at a press conference on Dec. 8 that the Hungarian government, led by Prime Minister Viktor Orban, has "openly switched to Russian positions," the Polish media outlet TVN24 reported.

"Orban does not hide it," he added, saying, "his relationship with Moscow is organic."

Since the start of Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine, Hungary has repeatedly obstructed EU funds for Kyiv while opposing sanctions against Russia. Orban, who maintains close ties with the Kremlin, has refused to provide military aid to Ukraine, and threatened to block Ukraine's accession to the EU unless leaders agree to review their entire strategy of support.

Tusk's KO party and other opposition parties in Poland defeated the ruling Law and Justice party (PiS) in parliamentary elections on Oct. 15. Together, they have sought to form a government. A former prime minister, Tusk is widely seen as being mostly to reoccupy the position in a new government.

Tusk has previously criticized Orban and Hungary's "illiberal" democracy and said on Dec. 8 that he did not think he could persuade Orban to change course.

He said he would still try to use "various arguments and methods to at least eliminate the negative consequences of (Orban's) attitude."

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