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PM Orbán’s talks in Moscow

February 2nd, 2013

Népszava’s commentator dismisses PM Orbán’s foreign policy as inconsistent and opportunistic, while Magyar Nemzet welcomes a new, pragmatic approach to Hungarian-Russian relations.

In Népszava, Miklós Bonta accuses PM Orbán of “endless humbleness” towards both Brussels and Moscow. He contrasts the Prime Minister’s earlier fierce statements addressed to both capitals with his gentle words this week, when he was received by EU Commission chief José Manuel Barroso and then by President Putin of Russia. “This time there has been no trace of the same Viktor Orbán who used to wage a freedom fight against the European Union,” Bonta remarks. As for Russia, he recalls the PM’s criticism of one of his left-wing predecessors (Ferenc Gyurcsány), who said Hungary wanted to be a bridge between Russia and the West. Viktor Orbán retorted on that occasion that Hungary’s place was firmly anchored on the western side.

In Magyar Nemzet, Gábor Stier says that young Hungarians harbour no resentment against Russia, and there is growing mutual interest in improving bilateral relations. He urges courageous initiatives in order to open new prospects of co-operation, but without losing the confidence of the “Euro-Atlantic club.” It is also important to strengthen our positions in Europe because “our eastern partners will appreciate reaching the whole region and the European Union through co-operating with Hungary.” Stier admits that committing ourselves to enlarging the Paks nuclear power plant and involving Russia in that project is a strategic decision, but for that very reason he suggests to move ahead on the basis of national interest, rather than “following the advice of onlookers, even if some of them are good friends.”

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