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Hungary’s Orban, ruling MPs snub call to commemorate Navalny

orban trump give a penny to Ukraine
Source: Video Screenshot

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban and other ruling party politicians on Monday shunned an informal commemoration in parliament for the late Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny.

The 47-year-old Kremlin critic died on February 16 after spending more than three years behind bars, prompting outrage and condemnation from Western leaders and his supporters.

Hungary — the only EU member state that has maintained close ties with the Kremlin following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine — did not issue any official statement on his death.

And in parliament on Monday, Orban, government ministers and lawmakers from the Fidesz-led ruling coalition remained seated when opposition MP Bence Tordai asked everyone to stand up for a minute of silence in memory of Navalny.

In comments later on Monday, Orban thanked “government party groups for keeping their cool on the Navalny case”.

“Chauvinists receive no respect in the Hungarian parliament, and those who called Georgians rodents during the Georgian-Russian war will not be respected,” Orban said, referring to 2008 remarks by Navalny, for which he later apologised.

“Otherwise, rest in peace,” he added.

Georgia lost effective control of two breakaway regions in the 1990s, and in 2008, after invading the country, Russia stationed permanent military bases there and recognised the provinces’ pro-Moscow authorities.

Navalny, who used to be a nationalist, initially supported the Russian invasion, although he later changed his stance.

Tordai, co-leader of the small Green party Dialogue, said that he regretted the fact that Orban and his Fidesz-led coalition failed to pay tribute to the memory of Navalny, calling it a “disgrace”.

Hungary’s National Assembly opened the spring session of parliament on Monday.

A much delayed vote on Sweden’s NATO bid is on the agenda, as well as the election of a new president.

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Agence France-Presse (AFP) is a French international news agency headquartered in Paris, France. Founded in 1835 as Havas, it is the world's oldest news agency.

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