British Prime Minister Boris Johnson was praised as an “excellent politician” by Hungary’s foreign minister Friday, who said criticism of the embattled Briton was “mostly unwarranted”.
Johnson is an “excellent politician who knows what he wants, and is working to implement the will of the people”, Peter Szijjarto told the local M1 television news channel.
Like Johnson, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban casts himself as a defender of national sovereignty against Brussels bureaucrats.
Orban’s regular clashes with the EU, over migration and rule of law issues in particular, have gained him admirers among eurosceptic and far-right figures around Europe including Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage.
The Hungarian economy however is highly dependent on trade links with the rest of the EU, as well as development funding from Brussels.
Support for EU membership remains high in Hungary and Orban has always stopped short of proposing an exit from the bloc.
Budapest regrets that the UK decided to leave the EU, as the move is a “serious political, economic, strategic, and security loss”, but the result must be respected, said Szijjarto.
Szijjarto said criticisms of Johnson were mostly unwarranted, and that “no criticism should be levelled at a politician for carrying out the will of the people”.
“Whoever goes against the mainstream today clearly comes under serious international media pressure,” said Szijjarto.
The Hungarian government declined to comment to AFP on how it would react to a British request to veto an extension to the Brexit process, if the UK asked for one before the date it is due to leave the bloc on October 31.