Hungary has summoned the United States top diplomat in Budapest after Republican Senator John McCain described the country’s prime minster as a “neo-fascist dictator.”
Speaking in the US Senate on Tuesday, the Republican senator criticized Hungary’s premier Viktor Orban for pro-Russian stances. McCain described Hungary as “a nation that is on the verge of ceding its sovereignty to a neo-fascist dictator getting in bed with (Russian President) Vladimir Putin.”
McCain’s remarks caused Hungary’s Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto to summon US charge d’affaires Andre Goodfriend on Wednesday.
The foreign minister also said that the Hungarian embassy in Washington would contact McCain’s office to inquire about his words and their background.
The foreign ministry rejected the US senator’s remarks about both the premier and relations with Moscow as “totally unacceptable.”
“The Hungarian government… rejects the words of Senator John McCain regarding the Hungarian Prime Minister and the relationship of Hungary and Russia,” said Foreign Ministry State Secretary Levente Magyar.
McCain however said he was not concerned about how his remarks were being taken by the Hungarian government.
Orban has recently voiced objection to EU and US sanctions imposed on Russia because of the conflict in Ukraine. He said the European Union has harmed itself economically with the sanctions.
“The sanctions policy pursued by the West, that is ourselves– a necessary consequence of which has been what the Russians are doing– causes more harm to us than to Russia,” Orban said.
“In politics, this is called shooting oneself in the foot,” the prime minister added.
The US and its allies accuse Moscow of sending troops into eastern Ukraine in support of the pro-Russian forces. Russia, however, denies the accusation.
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