Billboards in Budapest, sponsored by the U.S. Embassy, contradict the official position of the Hungarian government, which from the outset of the war has called for the West to pursue “a cease-fire and peace talks.”
The United States, under the leadership of President Joe Biden, has launched a hard diplomatic offensive against Hungary, with the U.S. Embassy in Budapest—headed by Ambassador David Pressman—funding a nationwide billboard campaign that seeks to undermine the Hungarian government’s position on the Russo-Ukrainian war.
News of the Washington-financed billboard campaign comes amid dismally poor—and seemingly ever-deteriorating—relations between the two countries and alongside media reports that U.S. Ambassador to Hungary David Pressman, who is holding a press conference this afternoon, April 12th, is expected to announce the U.S.’ plan to take punitive measures against the Hungarian government.
Citing several independent diplomatic sources, the Hungarian opposition news portal 444 wrote that the Biden administration is planning to take new measures in order to punish the Hungarian government for its position on the Russo-Ukrainian war. The news site suggests the sanctions—similar to those leveled against Hungary in 2014—are likely to be imposed on influential people.
As for the billboard campaign, those behind the information drive—the Nyugati Pályán Facebook page, a PR company called Flow PR, and the U.S. Embassy in Budapest—seeks to draw parallels between 1956 in Hungary and the present situation in Ukraine.
The posters, which have appeared in public spaces throughout the country, contain large, stylized inscriptions reading: “Ruszkik Haza!” (Russians Home!)—a popular slogan used in Hungary’s 1956 revolution. The text, “Hungary 1956” and “2023 Ukraine,” can be seen above and below the main inscription, while to the right side of a billboard are the words, “There can be peace in Ukraine when the Russian occupying army withdraws.”
The phrase challenges, and contradicts, the official position of the Hungarian government, which from the outset of the war has called for the West to pursue a “cease-fire and peace talks.” Previously—and quite consistently over the past year—the Hungarian government has criticized what, in their view, is the Biden administration’s increasingly belligerent involvement in the Russo-Ukraine War, accusing Washington of perpetuating the bloody conflict by continuing to provide billions in military aid to Ukraine.
In October of 2022, while on a panel discussion in Berlin hosted by the magazine Cicero and the daily newspaper Berliner Zeitung, Hungarian President Viktor Orbán said: “The Ukrainians have endless resources because they get all that from the Americans … That is why the Americans have to come to an agreement with the Russians. And then the war will be over.” Those who “believe the war will be ended through Russian-Ukrainian negotiations are not living in the real world,” he added, before suggesting that, “hope for peace is named Donald Trump.”
Following the U.S. intelligence leaks last week, it was revealed that Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán was one of the multiple world leaders who was named as being covertly surveilled by the CIA, as The European Conservative previously reported. The leak revealed that the U.S. intelligence agency had come to know that Orbán, during a private strategy session in February, identified the United States as one of Hungary’s top three adversaries.
Earlier this year in January, Hungarian Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó, who has long been at loggerheads with the U.S. Ambassador to Hungary, said, “We understand that this [war] does not seem so serious from a hundred or a thousand kilometers away, but whoever causes an escalation or prolongation of the war is also acting against our national interests,” alluding, not so subtly, to the U.S. government’s continued, massive military support for Ukraine.
Source : The European Conservative