Lázár reacts to Bell: Hungary ‘is not part of the U.S.’


Hungary is “thankful to America for its advice” but “does not need it”, Hungary’s Cabinet Chief János Lázár said today at his regular weekly press conference, commenting on concerns raised yesterday by U.S. Ambassador for Hungary Colleen Bell, according to online daily origo.hu.

Cabinet Chief János Lázár speaking at todayʼs press conference. (Photo: MTI/Zoltán Balogh)

Lázár called Bell an “esteemed ambassador”, and said that since Hungary is not part of the United States of America, the “only organization we discuss such issues with is the European Union,” Hungarian online daily origo.hu reported.

Bell raised concerns yesterday over corruption, media freedom, transparency in Hungary and the Paks deal, but also praised relations between the two countries, during a speech she gave at Corvinus University.

Commenting on Bell’s criticism, Lázár said that Hungary is continuously part of the European dialogue, and although Hungary considers the criticism “constructive”, the country needs to preserve its “sovereignty”. 

In reference to the Paks deal, Lázár said every document will be made public, comparable to documents the United States makes public when building nuclear plants, origo.hu reported.

In response to a question on what could be behind Bellʼs claims that there is “systematic corruption” in Hungary, Lázár said this question should be posed to the ambassador, as she spoke without providing “concrete evidence”, origo.hu reported.

Lazar said that Hungary will not be a colony of Russia, the EU or the United States. “I, as a Hungarian citizen, find it especially irritating that an American citizen comes here and intervenes in our lives. We take it well because Hungary is a forgiving nation, but America should see how offensive the ambassadorʼs words are to Hungarians. Not to us, but to the Hungarian people,” origo.hu quoted Lazar as saying.

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