Hungary responded angrily on Thursday to a proposal from the European Commission that would cut development funds to countries deemed to have undermined the rule of law, saying it would not yield to “blackmail”.

“There are treaties in force in the European Union that clearly specify the rights and obligations of EU member states,” Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto told a news conference.

“We do not agree with any proposal that would provide the potential for blackmail of anyone with regard to the payment of EU funds that are due to be given to countries based on the treaties,” he said.

The Commission has accused Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s right-wing government of undermining the independence of Hungary’s courts and curbing media freedom.

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