Russia-Ukraine: Two years of war
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Hungary's Prime Minister Viktor Orban attends a European Union summit in Brussels, Belgium February 1, 2024.

REUTERS/Johanna Geron

Hungarian government roiled by sex abuse scandal

Don’t look now, but one of Europe’s biggest defenders of family values is embroiled in a scandal over the sexual abuse of children. In recent days, Hungary’s proudly “illiberal” Prime Minister Viktor Orbán has seen his president and justice minister – both women – resign over the pardon of an orphanage director accused of covering up sexual abuse claims.

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Hungary's Prime Minister Viktor Orban and Luxembourg Prime Minister Luc Frieden attend a European Union summit in Brussels, Belgium February 1, 2024.

REUTERS/Johanna Geron

The EU stares down Orban

Serial political blackmailer Viktor Orban, Hungary’s prime minister, upset other EU leaders in December by vetoing a plan meant to provide Ukraine with a multi-year €50 billion EU aid package. The EU must, Orban insisted, pledge to revisit the plan each year the money was scheduled for disbursement – with any member retaining the right to veto the plan midstream.

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Venezuelan migrants are pat-down before boarding a repatriation flight as a part of an immigration enforcement process, at the Valley International Airport, in Harlingen, Texas, U.S. October 18, 2023.

REUTERS/Daniel Becerril

Hard Numbers: Venezuela grabs Biden by the border, EU reaches deal on Ukraine aid, US strike on Houthi drones, Professional trust crisis, ICJ rules on Russia, Amelia Earhart found at last?

14: Venezuela has given the US 14 days to back off its “economic aggression,” or it will stop accepting deportation flights from the US carrying undocumented Venezuelan migrants. Washington has threatened to re-impose oil sanctions on Caracas after Venezuela banned the leading opposition candidate from running for president. But Venezuela is hitting Biden where it hurts: The migration crisis at the US southern border is becoming a major political liability for him, and Venezuelans are the third most common nationality of undocumented migrants apprehended.

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US approves F-16s for Turkey, moving Sweden NATO membership closer
Turkey's ratification makes Sweden one step closer to NATO | Europe In :60

US approves F-16s for Turkey, moving Sweden NATO membership closer

Carl Bildt, former prime minister of Sweden, shares his perspective on European politics from Stockholm.

How are things proceeding with the ratification of the Swedish membership in NATO?

Well, it’s been some back and forth. But now Turkey has ratified and that is important. That has to do with also the agreement with the US on deliveries of F-16s and modification kits of F-16s and deliveries of F-35s to Greece. A major package has been negotiated, so that should be okay. Now, remaining with Hungary. Prime Minister Orban is a slightly unpredictable fellow, but I would guess that he can't hold off for very long. So I would hope, expect this process to be wrapped up within a couple of weeks.

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Sweden's NATO membership is imminent after Turkey's approval
Sweden close to NATO membership after Turkey's blessing | Ian Bremmer | World In: 60

Sweden's NATO membership is imminent after Turkey's approval

Ian Bremmer shares his insights on global politics this week from Davos on World In :60.

With the Turkish parliament officially approving Sweden's membership of NATO, will Hungary remain the lone holdout?

I don't expect it. I think that Sweden is joining. Erdogan still has to sign. So, I mean, isn't done done done until the signatures on. But NATO is being sold very, very effectively by Vladimir Putin, continues to expand.

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Turkish Foreign Minister Hakan Fidan speaks with Swedish Foreign Minister Tobias Billstrom ahead of the NATO Foreign Ministers meeting at NATO Headquarters in Brussels, Belgium, November 28, 2023.

SAUL LOEB/Pool via REUTERS

Sweden is confident it will finally become a NATO member

Sweden’s top diplomat is optimistic that the nearly year-long delay in his country’s NATO accession caused by Turkey and Hungary will soon be over. Swedish Foreign Minister Tobias Billstrom says that Turkey could approve Sweden’s NATO membership “within weeks,” and he expects Budapest to follow Ankara’s lead.

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Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban attends the autumn session of parliament in Budapest, Hungary, September 25, 2023.

REUTERS/Bernadett Szabo via Reuters

Viktor Orbán plays the ethnic card as part of his EU “schtick”

The Hungarian prime minister said Monday he’ll cut all support for Kyiv unless Ukraine addresses the grievances of ethnic Hungarians who live in the country.

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Ukraine-EU farm export dispute: Are there any consequences?
Ukraine-EU farm export dispute: Are there any consequences? | Europe In: 60 | GZERO Media

Ukraine-EU farm export dispute: Are there any consequences?

Carl Bildt, former prime minister of Sweden, shares his perspective on European politics - this week from the airport in Madrid.

What are the consequence of the dispute now between Ukraine and the European Union on farm exports?

It is not really a dispute with the European Union because the commission has said that farm exports are okay. But then suddenly Poland has an election, and Slovakia which has election and Hungary, which has own policy, said, “No, no, we don't allow these particular grain exports from Ukraine because our farmers don't like it.” That runs totally contrary to the common trade policy that the European Union is running, runs totally contrary to the solidarity with Ukraine and support to Ukraine that we have all agreed on. So yeah, we'll see what happens. It’s a serious question.

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