News analysis: Elections won in Hungary with promises of peace and cheap Russian gas. The European Union and Europe standing together against Russia was an illusion.
“I can’t deal with it. On the same day the world learned about Botsga, 900 kilometers away, Russia’s ally Orban won the ‘Peace’ campaign and mocked Zelensky in his victory speech.”
This is how a Hungarian friend expressed his desperation in a Facebook post. Hungary is a neighbor of Ukraine. Devastation and fear have driven hundreds of thousands of refugees across the border. Still, a friend of Putin’s election victory.
The night before the election, I was sitting in a bar in Budapest. Some fellow Hungarian journalists have expressed frustration with life in Viktor Orbán’s illiberal state: unrest over sending their children to a school system where history is falsified. Cruelty even the war did not open the eyes of the Hungarians. The feeling of living among fascists.
Can play with the constitution
The most optimistic around the table believes that Viktor Orban will lose a two-thirds majority. The others didn’t even bother to believe anything.
Most disappointed come back right. Despite the fact that six opposition parties had joined forces to restore democracy, Orbán retained the majority. He can still play with the constitution as he pleases.
The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) monitored the elections. The I finish With the full starting point of the perverted vote. Voters were not adequately informed of the alternatives. The opposition did not appear in the media, the ruling party used public resources to its advantage, the election campaign was hostile and without open debate.
The Hungarian opposition will conduct self-examination and self-criticism. But the choice is over.
Urban “on steroids”
The most important thing is to be prepared for what comes next: Viktor Urban “on steroids,” as Daniel Hegedos put it in an online newspaper. EUobserver. Hegedus works for the German Marshall Fund Research Center.
Hegedus said Orban’s Ukraine-Russia policy now enjoys strong legitimacy at home.
– Orban with increased self-confidence will require a higher price from the European Union and NATO for cooperation. (…) He will say that if you do not punish me, I will not veil you.
When the EU and NATO agreed to backlash against Russia, Orbán was formally involved. But he was told at home that this did not serve Hungary’s interests.
Putin’s rapprochement and statements about Ukraine and President Zelensky isolated Orbán in Central Europe. The meeting of the Visegrad Group (Poland, Czech Republic, Slovakia and Hungary) last week has been cancelled. The Czech Defense Minister tweeted this … I’m sorry that cheap Russian oil is more important to Hungarian politicians than Ukrainian blood.
At the same time, Hungary and Poland have a common interest in using refugees as leverage. The European Union is withholding large sums of money because Poland and Hungary are violating the rule of law and building democracy.
The EU may have chosen to push Hungary into darkness and tolerate Poland, which Hegedus expects.
But in terms of security policy, it is risky. Orban not only failed to help Ukraine with weapons. Others also refused to use the Hungarian border as a means of delivery. It would hardly be desirable for Hungary to position itself as more active in all areas.
Sunday was a bleak day for Europe. Pictures of the Potja massacre shook us, friends of Russia won elections in Hungary and Serbia. And in Berlin Participate 400 cars honk with local Russians in a renewed demonstration in support of Putin. Many are decorated with the symbolic “Z” and wave Russian flags from the windows.
A car train can be taken as a gloomy warning. The fissures within Europe associated with the bloody war may become more acute in the future.
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