June 23. 2024. 1:59

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US concerned over Hungary’s close relations with Russia


The US is worried about Hungarian leaders seeking closer ties with Russia, as close economic cooperation with Russia feeds the Russian war machine and threatens the security of the transatlantic alliance, the US Ambassador to Hungary David Pressman told a press conference on Wednesday afternoon.

The presence of any “Kremlin-led platform” in Europe is a “potential threat” to both the EU and its Western allies, said Pressman, adding that the bank was “Moscow’s tool” to increase influence in Hungary and the region.

“We are concerned about Hungarian leaders seeking ever-closer ties with Russia, despite its brutal aggression. Close economic cooperation with Russia feeds the Russian war machine and threatens the security of the transatlantic alliance,” said Pressman, EURACTIV’s partner Telex.hu reported.

Earlier that day, the US updated its sanctions list to include the Budapest-based International Investment Bank, its Vice President, Imre Laszlóczki, and other Hungarian-born executives.

In the past, the US repeatedly expressed its concerns about the bank to the Hungarian government, which, in turn, refused to acknowledge this.

The staff of the ​​International Investment Bank can enter the EU even from Russia with diplomatic passports, which, as Hungary is a NATO member, poses a risk to the US, said Pressman.

“The US considers Hungary an important ally and wishes to maintain a constructive relationship with the country,” he added.

(Sofia Stuart Leeson | EURACTIV.com with Telex.hu)