Borrell: Hungary Is Not Forced to Join the European Union
In response to Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban's comparison of EU membership to Soviet occupation, EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs Josep Borrell stated that no one is compelling Hungary to be a member of the European Union.
During the "Europe and Peace" conference, the EU's chief diplomat noted that Hungary is familiar with the concept of occupation since the days of the Soviet Union, but its EU membership is entirely different.
"Hungary knows a lot about Soviet occupation and what occupation is. I remember Budapest in 1956 with Russian tanks in the streets – I was nine years old at the time. I see no resemblance between the Soviet occupation of Budapest and what is happening in Berlaymont (the headquarters of the European Commission in Brussels). I did not see any tanks there, no combat actions. In any case, no one forces Hungary to be an EU member; it is a free choice," emphasized Borrell.
To recall, Orban made his controversial statement regarding EU membership and the Soviet occupation during his address commemorating the anniversary of the Hungarian anti-Soviet revolution of 1956 on Monday, October 23.
Orban accused the EU of allegedly wanting to strip Hungary of its identity by imposing a model of liberal democracy.
Earlier, in Beijing, Hungarian Prime Minister Orban had a meeting with Russian President Putin. Following the meeting, Orban shook hands with the Russian dictator and emphasized that Hungary and Russia continue to develop their relations, despite the so-called "special military operation" and sanctions.
Subsequently, NATO ambassadors expressed concern and held a meeting in Budapest to discuss the convergence of Hungary and Russia. They are concerned about both the Orban-Putin meeting in the backdrop of Russia's war against Ukraine and the tone of their discussions.
Earlier, it became known that the Hungarian Parliament has once again blocked the consideration of Sweden's application for NATO membership.
Furthermore, Hungary blocked €500 million in military assistance to Ukraine.
To recap, the people's uprising against Soviet repression in Hungary took place in 1956. Initially, the protesters managed to overthrow the communist leader of Hungary and push Soviet troops out of Budapest. However, later, Soviet forces returned to Budapest with fresh strength and brutally suppressed the revolution, killing approximately three thousand civilians and destroying most of the city.