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PM Orbán on relations with NATO and Russia

November 22nd, 2014

A left-wing commentator accuses the PM of conducting a ’seesaw’ policy between the West and Russia. He even goes so far as suggesting that Mr Orbán’s policy is prompted by Moscow.

In Népszava, Róbert Friss believes that  Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany is the one person “Orbán fears most” and asks when she will realise that Mr Orbán’s ‘seesaw’ is being pushed by Putin. Friss comments on two consecutive speeches made by the Prime Minister on Wednesday and on Thursday, when Mr Orbán dismissed as foolish the allegations according to which he was pro-Russian. “Hungary is pro-Hungarian,” he said. Friss quotes him as saying that Hungary has always been loyal to the Western alliance, e.g. by sending troops to Afghanistan and Iraq despite its own misgivings, but now, it expects its allies to understand Hungary’s economic interests. (This remark is interpreted as a reply to Western criticism of Hungary’s support for the South Stream Russian gas pipeline project and of the Hungarian-Russian agreement on the extension of the Paks Nuclear Power Station.) The left-wing columnist also remarks that the Prime Minister called Germany Hungary’s “point of reference, for it perhaps understands us best, given our geopolitical position”, and interprets this sentence as meaning that Germany is the country the Prime Minister fears most. But Germany, he continues, despite its close economic ties with Russia, never backs down when her European values are at stake. Friss then quotes president Putin as calling Hungary one of Russia’s most important political and trade partners, which he believes, should make Chancellor Angela Merkel realise that Mr Orbáns sea-saw is increasingly being pushed by Putin. “That is what the Unites States and an increasing number of European Union people start worrying about”,  Népszava’s commentator concludes.


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