Warsaw Back on Track — Budapest Derailed

Poland cleans up its act while Budapest digs in their heels even deeper

9 February 2022

Michał Zabłocki

Climate and Democracy Editor

Poland was abuzz late last week with good news, signalling a shift in policy.

Poland’s President Andrzej Duda proposed a bill to the government to end the rule of law row with the European Union. After years of dispute with Brussels over the so-called Disciplinary Chamber, Warsaw finally backed out to unblock the EU funded National Recovery Plan.

In the headlines last week there was also Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin and on the very same day Mateusz Morawiecki talking with Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy. The Russian threat is real, but Orbán’s intentions remain unclear — instead of supporting a democratic government in Kyiv, he talks with the warmonger in the Kremlin.

Hungary’s Unwillingness to Budge

Orbán planned the visit to Moscow in December 2021 to discuss gas contracts, the expansion of the Hungarian nuclear power plant in Paks, production of the Russian vaccine Sputnik V in Hungary and cooperation in their aerospace industry. Although the Hungarian opposition called on Orbán to cancel the visit amid the growing tensions around Ukraine, plans went ahead unchanged. 

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Michał Zabłocki

Climate and Democracy Editor

Michal is Climate and Democracy Editor and former Marcin Król Fellow at Visegrad Insight. He’s an active Freelance journalist, and climate activist as well as a communications and policy consultant, too. In the past, he was a foreign correspondent for the Polish Press Agency in Moscow, Prague and Bratislava, Newsroom Editor and a long-standing Staff Writer at PAP Foreign Desk, PAP English language newswire Market Insider and PAP Domestic Desk, where he covered climate and environment. He mainly focuses on politics, economy, climate and energy in Poland and Central Eastern Europe. He's also the author of a non-fiction book "To nie jest raj. Szkice o współczesnych Czechach" ("It's not paradise. Essays on contemporary Czechia"), published in 2019 in Poland and 2020 in Czech Republic.

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