Hungary expels Russian diplomat in connection with Salisbury nerve agent attack

March 27, 2018

Hungary to expel a Russian diplomat in connection with the Salisbury nerve agent attack
Photo: Facebook/Orbán Viktor

Hungary is expelling a Russian diplomat who is thought to have been conducting intelligence activity in Hungary, reports state news agency MTI.

Deputy undersecretary with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade Tamás Menczer announced Monday evening that, in accordance with the European Council’s decision to jointly retaliate against Russia, Hungary would expel a Russian diplomat who is thought to have been conducting intelligence activity . On Monday, the United States, Canada, Ukraine and numerous EU Member States expelled over 100 Russian diplomats to mark solidarity with Britain.

The wave of expulsions came after British Prime Minister Theresa May accused the Russian government of being behind the nerve agent attack on former double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter on British soil on March 4. The British government’s allegation was later backed by two chemical experts who formerly worked on the Soviet Union’s top-secret nerve agent program.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade declined to provide further details about the background of the expulsion. However, according to MTI’s information, the decision might also be in connection with the “KGBéla” case. The former Jobbik MEP Béla Kovács, who has strong Russian ties, was indicted on charges of spying on European Union institutions and fraud in December 2017.

On Tuesday, parliament national security committee chairman Zsolt Molnár (MSzP) announced that he would convene the committee on Thursday to discuss developments of the past few days, including the alleged organized embezzlement of EU funds under investigation by the FBI, as well as the exclusion of the Russian diplomat. However, the committee is unlikely to be able to form a quorum as Fidesz and Christian Democratic People’s Party (KDNP)  members have been boycotting its work for three months.