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The crisis in Ukraine and the changing geopolitical order

August 25th, 2014

A left-wing commentator believes that a new cold war is breaking out between Russia and the West, and Hungary cannot continue a foreign policy which involves sleeping in both camps. A conservative analyst warns that a compromise between the great powers is becoming ever more unlikely as time passes. Another pro-government commentator calls for the lifting of EU sanctions against Russia.

“We must agree with PM Orbán that a major geopolitical shift is underway and anything can happen,” 168 Óra editor-in-chief Tamás Mészáros contends. The left-wing columnist predicts that the Ukrainian crisis will escalate and the region will be destabilized even if Moscow abstains from invading Ukraine. Mészáros speculates that a “new cold war” between the West and Russia is now inevitable, in which the Orbán government will have to take sides and will no longer have the luxury of balancing its foreign policy between the two.

The Ukrainian crisis will significantly impact Europe’s geopolitical standing, Zoltán Kiszelly writes in Magyar Hírlap. The conservative political scientist agrees with PM Orbán that mutual economic sanctions by the EU and Russia are harmful for the whole continent (see BudaPost August 28). The US, on the other hand, will be better off, since it will have cheaper access to European goods and companies, Kiszelly notes. As the crisis deepens, a compromise between the parties becomes less and less feasible, Kiszelly warns. He likens the current situation to the pre World War One era. In the current situation, Hungary needs to wisely find new markets for its produce and products, Kiszelly contends.

Magyar Nemzet’s Gergely Kiss believes that the crisis in Ukraine will slow economic growth throughout the EU. The pro-government commentator fears that further sanctions may soon be introduced, which could cause even more damage to Hungary, the EU and Russia. Despite Hungary’s commitment to democratic rule and territorial integrity, Hungary would be better off if EU sanctions against Russia were lifted.

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