Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany is expected to pay a short visit to Hungary next month at a time when Hungarian-American relations are strained and when government circles consider Germany to be Hungary’s main reference point in international politics.
In their analysis of German-Hungarian relations in Hetek, Zsolt Hazafi and István Sebestyén suggest that Hungary’s recent rapprochement with Russia, which sparked an unprecedented diplomatic confrontation with the United States, has been quietly supported by Germany. They suspect a Hungarian-German deal in the background of the extension of the Paks Nuclear Power Station, awarded to Russia’s Rosatom and financed from a Russian credit line. While leading Hungarian officials have been consistently defiant and critical in their remarks on the United States lately, the analysis continues, they regularly praise Germany and Chancellor Merkel as Hungary’s main ally. The authors believe that Washington has pressured Mrs Merkel into finally abandoning her policy of ‘appeasement’ towards Russia, and thus the German attitude of “protecting Hungary behind the scenes” may change by the time the Chancellor visits Hungary in February. Unless the Hungarian government decides to adjust to those changes in the international environment which “it has been slow to grasp”, Hetek’s analysts conclude.