The West is trying to deter Victor Orban's "eastward turn"
Is a "color revolution" possible in Budapest?
Despite being a member of the EU since 2004, Hungary, under the rule of prime-minister Victor Orban, who constantly summons strong anger of the West, is loosing it's ties with Brussels in favor of a more prosperous partnership with Moscow. Thus Orban is considered one of the closest European allies of President Putin. Last year he visited our country, and said that we have a model of a "non-liberal" democracy, the kind he would like to see in Hungary, summoning his enemies comments' over his "growing authoritarianism".
Orban was in no hurry to condemn Crimea's reunification with Russia, but nevertheless had to support EU anti-Russian sanctions, while expressing his displeasure with the fact. Last year, the Hungarian prime minister, has fueled resentment of Brussels, saying that by damaging trade relations with Russia via sanctions policy, the European Union had "shot itself in the foot." The opposition that seeks to please the West and having its direct support tries to achieve Orban's resignation for conducting such an independent policy. They're constantly trying to discredit him in the eyes of the Hungarian publicity "Orban led the country into international isolation, a diplomatic wasteland" - one of the most vocal critics Orban co-director of the Institute of Political decisions Andras Biro-Nagy scares Hungarians. - There is no longer a unified position on strategic commitments to the West. "
As a sign of growing concern over Orban's actions last year US President Barack Obama had included Hungary in a "black list" of countries where civic groups receiving foreign funding are persecuted. What exactly are those kinds of associations is not very difficult to understand. It's the infamous "fifth column", which the US and its allies nurture in countries where the authorities are objectionable to the West. Moreover, the country's leaders can be "removed" with the help of another well-proven "color revolution" scheme. It is obvious that right now one of those "revolutions" is being prepared in Hungary that shows too much" independence in its foreign policy. To this end, protests are being organized in Budapest, demonstrations demanding Hungary's return into EU mainstream from "the Kremlin's orbit." US are consistently pressurizing Viktor Orban, even banning entry of six Hungarian officials to US, including the head of the National Tax Administration, on a trumped-up corruption charge. Enraged Orban had to recommend Washington to stop "interfering" in the affairs of Central Europe, which led to another portion of accusations against him, including "attempting to return Hungary to communist past." Orban is accused of disrespect for liberal freedoms and even called "Little Putin".
In short, Viktor Orban has caused a serious headache for the West, which seriously fears that Hungary will become Russia's "Trojan horse" in the EU. "Solving problems with Hungary is a difficult test for Brussels and Berlin" - says Peter Balazs, former Hungarian Minister of Foreign Affairs and European Commissioner for Regional Development. Balazs called some agreements signed between Hungary and Russia in the framework of Orban's "eastward turn" - "quite questionable". Last year, the Prime Minister signed a 10 billion euro credit agreement with Moscow to expand the only nuclear power plant in Hungary. Orban also changed country laws to eliminate difficulties with the "South Stream" project realization, which was very interesting for Hungary, as it is heavily dependent on Russian gas supplies. However, as you know, through EU's fault, Moscow was forced to abandon the project. EU thinks that if someone is able to hold Orban in the western direction it is Germany, which is Hungary's largest trading partner, and which state of the economy depends largely on the 6000 German companies that provide jobs for over 300 thousand Hungarians. So the EU hope that Angela Merkel will be able to "put pressure" on Orban to force him to abandon further rapprochement with Moscow. However, today Daniel Hegedus, an analyst at the German Council on Foreign Relations believes that "Merkel does not want to spend political resources to curb the smaller members of the EU."
However, not everything depends on the willingness of Frau Merkel. Moreover, even if she really wanted to "rein in" Viktor Orban (note the characteristics given to him and his country - "little Putin", "small EU member state"), then it would be very difficult. For Budapest is very interested in a diverse collaboration with Russia, which is first among Hungary's external trade ranks with non-EU countries and third after Germany and Austria. The volume of accumulated Russian investments in Hungarian economy reached 1.5 billion dollars, and Hungarian in Russia - about 2 billion. Construction of two new units of NPP "Paks" with Russian help will increase the energy independence of Hungary. During Viktor Orban's visit to Moscow last year Vladimir Putin called the Russian-Hungarian agreement on nuclear power plants "unique", saying its implementation will contribute to a significant increase in jobs and provide a solid revenue of the country.
In addition, Budapest watches with great concern at the development of the situation in neighboring Ukraine, where an ultranationalist course of pro-Western president Poroshenko jeopardizes the interests of the Hungarian minority in the Transcarpathian region. Viktor Orban has repeatedly made it clear to EU partners that policy of unreserved support for Kiev nationalists in suppressing the supporters of federalization in the country's east does not meet the European notions of freedom and democracy, and cannot be used as a reason for refusing to cooperate with Russia.
Despite the efforts of Hungarian opposition to create a negative atmosphere on the eve of Russian president's visit, it strongly encouraged the main political forces of the country. So, the party "For a Better Hungary" ("Jobbik"), which maintains friendly relations with the "Stalingrad" club and the Russian Social-patriotic party "Motherland", in the words of one of its leaders, Dendeshi Marton, the Deputy Chairman of the Parliamentary Committee on Foreign Affairs "considers important and appropriate meeting of Russian and Hungarian leaders, as has always been a supporter of cooperation with our eastern neighbor." He also said "Jobbik believes Hungary to remain Russia's strategic partner in the sphere of economy, energy, politics and culture."
In an official statement, "Jobbik" said that bilateral geostrategiс negotiations are even more important during the Ukrainian crisis, and the party believes that it is important to maintain peace and neutrality, which is the only way to prevent international conflict, and insists on anti-Russian sanctions' termination, which should be a common cause for Hungary and all EU countries. "Jobbik" asked the opposition to exercise restraint during Vladimir Putin's visit and avoid "artificial excitation of hysteria."
Would the pro-Western forces that are so eager disrupt or overshadow the visit of the Russian president, hear the voice of reason, or even finally understand that the true, long-term interests of Hungary have nothing to do with the path that United States and EU are trying to push Hungary? Not an easy question to respond. However, one thing is true - Viktor Orban, who challenged Washington, offering a seemingly all-powerful "Yankees" not to interfere in the affairs of Central Europe, intends to adhere firmly to his policy of an "eastward turn," to strengthen cooperation with Moscow. Thus, his detractors will find it very difficult to knock him this fundamental course, having understanding and support of the majority of the population.