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Putin’s visit assessed

February 4th, 2017

Commentators conclude that the Hungary-Russia summit produced no surprises, but served to re-emphasize earlier standpoints. They disagree however on what role Hungary should play in relations between the West and Russia.

Népszava’s Gábor Horváth dismisses the idea that Hungary should serve as a bridge between the West and the East. Opportunities for such a mediating role have been extremely rare in history, he explains, for the big players hardly need mediators. He suspects that Moscow would gladly use Hungary to disrupt unity within the European Union and break western sanctions against Russia.

In Magyar Hírlap, Mariann Őry praises the government for having been able to entertain ’normal relations with Russia even against a headwind’, guided by pragmatism. She dismisses as nonsense allegations that describe Hungary as ‘Moscow’s Trojan horse’. In an aside she dismisses as ‘pitiful’ an initiative by Együtt leader Péter Juhász to whistle when President Putin’s motorcade passed on his way to meet PM Viktor Orbán.