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Hungarian Chief of Staff causes diplomatic incident with Poland

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Hungary/Poland – Given that the traditionally good relations between Warsaw and Budapest have cooled due to their diverging approach to Russia’s war against Ukraine, the Hungarian Army’s Chief of Staff, Gábor Böröndi, has just thrown a spanner in the works by making a Matovič-like blunder.

General Böröndi was interviewed on Hungarian television about the present war in Ukraine and its possible repercussions. To illustrate his point regarding the need to hold negotiations, he compared the current situation to that of 1939, when Hitler’s Germany attacked Poland:

Let’s think about the Second World War.

In 1939, the German-Polish war started as a local war,

but how did it end?

The escalation was not stopped in time – if I may say so – by a peace process,

which led to the Second World War.

The Polish ambassador in Budapest, Sebastian Kęciek, quickly reacted to these remarks, which he said were totally unacceptable:

These words, which could be interpreted as an accusation against my country of escalating and being complicit in causing a global conflict, are an unacceptable distortion of history for us and should not come from anyone’s mouth, especially not from the mouth of a representative of a country that is our close ally (…)

The outbreak of World War II was not brought about by a lack of peace talks with the aggressor, but by a policy of appeasement and concessions in the face of the Third Reich’s successive demands.

(…) Today, in the face of Russia’s full-scale, unprovoked, and illegal aggression against Ukraine, Europe should learn the lessons of World War II and stand in solidarity on the right side of history – on the side of the victim, not the aggressor. Only in this way can we bring about lasting peace in Europe. History should not be used to undermine our unity.”