Budapest is demanding immediate clarification from Washington over the banning of six Hungarian officials in what it’s described as an unprecedented move between NATO allies.
It comes against a background of worsening relations between the two governments.Washington has accused the six of corruption.
“These are members of government, government officials, people affiliated with the government and that’s why we were providing the government with a courtesy notification,” said US Charge de Affaires Andre Goodfriend.
During Monday’s National Security meeting a senior Hungarian ruling party MP claimed the US was interfering in Hungary’s domestic affairs. He demanded to see the evidence for the corruption charges and for the individuals involved to be named.
“The Hungarian government stands in disbelief at these events since this is not the way to handle affairs among friends. We would hope that in the coming weeks we will succeed in settling these questions as between friends and not in front of the press,” said Chief of Staff Lazar Janos.
Recent policy changes made by Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s government have been criticsed by the US and the European Union. Critics claim they undermine democratic values and have facilitated the growing problem of corruption.