The GuardianThe Guardian

How soulmates Hungary and Poland fell out over Ukraine war

18 Oct 2022 · 3 min read

Editor's Note

The once-close bond between Hungary and Poland has strained following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The Guardian explains why Polish-Hungarian relations are so tense and the implication of the fallout

In December 2021, Poland’s ultraconservative, nationalist government hosted some of the biggest names in European far-right politics, including France’s Marine Le Pen and Hungary’s Viktor Orbán. At the close of the Warsaw gathering, the group issued a declaration against “social engineering” aimed at creating “a new European nation” and made promises, largely unfulfilled, to work together in the European parliament.

Only a few months after the Warsaw summit, the governments of Poland and Hungary, who have been ideological soul mates in the EU for years, fell out over Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. While Warsaw has been one of Kyiv’s staunchest supporters, urging tougher sanctions, Hungary’s leader, Orbán, has described Ukraine’s president, Volodymyr Zelenskiy, as his “opponent” and blamed the EU’s Russia policy for inflation and soaring energy prices. Despite a few tentative olive branches, Polish-Hungarian relations remain tense.

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