Hungary cancels Visegrád meeting

The planned meeting of the Visegrád Group in Budapest has been cancelled. Poland and the Czech Republic had declined to participate on the grounds that Hungary's prime minister has not sufficiently distanced himself from Russia. Europe's press discusses whether this means the end of the V4 format.

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Süddeutsche Zeitung (DE) /

Orbán only pursuing his own interests

The cancellation is likely to mark the end of a long-standing cooperation, the Süddeutsche Zeitung writes:

“These countries no longer share a common language. While Viktor Orbán complains in Hungarian state media that Ukraine is demanding a virtual 'shutdown of the Hungarian economy' because Kiev considers an oil and gas embargo against Moscow to be imperative, Poland and the Czech Republic are determined to do all they can to help Ukraine. ... The war has shown that Orbán is merely pursuing his own interests. Already in past years there was less a single Visegrád group than two divided camps: while Hungary and Poland protected each other with vetoes, the two other states mostly kept silent. Now it's three to one. For Ukraine.”

Denník Postoj (SK) /

V4 cutting a poor figure

The geopolitical ambitions of the Visegrád states are failing because of the lack of a clear stance vis-á-vis Moscow, the conservative Denník Postoj concurs:

“Hungary's Viktor Orbán, as the current chair of the Visegrád Group, has not even tried to find a consensus on Ukraine and Russia. He focused on Hungarian interests because that's what suited him best in the election campaign, and thus distanced himself from the rest of the V4. ... However, this does not mean that Visegrád has to be abandoned. The group still has potential, not only in economic, energy and cultural cooperation, but also in political agendas. ... As a geopolitical player, however, the V4 is cutting a very poor figure as it faces its first major test.”