Hungary | Viktor Orbán of Hungary appointed Zelensky as his opponent and congratulated Putin – How would Hungary react to Finland’s application for NATO membership?

The Fidesz party, led by Viktor Orbán, won a clear victory in the Hungarian elections on Sunday and received congratulations from Vladimir Putin. Hungarian political scientist Patrik Szicherle does not believe that Orbán would still oppose Finland’s NATO membership.

On Sunday Hungarian parliamentary elections once again brought a clear victory to the right-wing populist Fidesz and its leader, Prime Minister Viktor Orbánille. Orbán is now starting his fourth consecutive term under Hungarian leadership.

Fidesz won a total of 135 seats in the election, a two-thirds majority in the country’s parliament, although in this election opposition parties from the Socialists to the far right had given their support to the joint candidate. Peter Mark-Zaylle to challenge Orbán.

According to the international election observation mission distorted by a lack of open discussion and fairness.

After his victory, Orbán listed the President of Ukraine in his speech Volodymyr Zelensky one of their opponents. President of Russia Vladimir Putin for his part, congratulated Orbán on his victory in the elections and hoped that mutually beneficial co-operation between Hungary and Russia would continue despite the “difficult international situation”.

At the same time At a time when Orbán is maintaining close relations with Russia, there is an accelerating debate in Finland about Finland’s possible membership in NATO. Over the weekend, the Prime Minister Sanna Marin announced Finland will make its decision to apply for NATO membership this spring.

If Finland were to apply for NATO membership, joining the military alliance would require the approval of all NATO countries, one of which is Hungary.

Secretary General of NATO Jens Stoltenberg said in an interview with CNN on Sunday assume that all 30 countries in the alliance welcome Finland and Sweden.

Still, the question has arisen in Finland as to whether Hungary could oppose Finland’s NATO membership, for example, to show its support for Putin, who has claimed that NATO enlargement is a threat to Russia.

Vladimir Putin (left) and Viktor Orbán photographed together in 2019.

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In Budapest Hungarian political scientist working at the Political Capitol Patrik Szicherle does not believe that Orbán’s Hungary will oppose Finland’s or Sweden’s NATO membership.

“Hungary’s ruling party is mostly positive about NATO, and if Hungary used its veto over NATO, it would probably be directly related to Ukraine,” says Szicherle.

In his view, Hungary has mostly been on the side of the enlargement of the military alliance, as evidenced by its opposition to the accession of northern Macedonia or Montenegro to NATO.

Doctoral researcher at the University of Helsinki, who studied in Hungary during the elections in Budapest Annastiina Kallius believes that, in the case of NATO, Orbán could act in much the same way as the European Union.

“In general, Orbán first declares in his home country that he is fighting Brussels, after which he goes to negotiate with EU countries, makes sharp statements – and finally agrees to the demands. It may be that he has negotiated some better terms, which he presents as a great victory in his home country, ”says Kallius.

Orbánin the recent election victory – especially when combined with calling Zelensky his “opponent” and congratulating him from Putin – has once again sparked a debate about Hungary’s position in the European Union.

Hungary is in a kind of gap with the EU, Ukraine and Russia. The country is involved in EU economic sanctions on Russia, has condemned Russia’s hostilities in Ukraine and received half a million refugees from Ukraine.

On the other hand, Hungary has blocked the export of weapons to Ukraine through its territory, and pro-Russian propaganda has been reported in the country during the war. Hungary has also so far strongly opposed the cessation of Russian energy imports.

EU countries are under pressure to impose new sanctions after the weekend in the Ukrainian city of Bashan exposed the atrocities of Russian troops, such as the mass grave of hundreds of civilians. The matter is currently being discussed in the European Parliament.

Even before The war was raised by the European Court of Justice in February that The EU can freeze EU subsidies from countries that violate the rule of law come through the budget.

For example, a British newspaper The Guardian wrote on Monday, some members of the EU parliament were shocked by Mr Orbán’s victory speech and suggested that the EU should freeze budget subsidies from Hungary.

In the same case, a former EU commissioner from the Hungarian Socialist Party László Andor said he did not believe in quick action from the EU. According to Andor, working with Hungary so far has not been the presidency of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyenin strength.

On Tuesday afternoon, von der Leyen told the European Parliament that the European Commission would launch new actions against Hungary for violations of the rule of law..

Politics researcher Patrik Szicherle does not believe that Hungary will agree to energy sanctions on Russia unless, for example, Germany puts a lot of pressure on it.

Equally, Szicherle considers it clear that Hungary is in dire need of EU funding, meaning that the European Union and Hungary are likely to find some kind of skinny agreement that will not freeze the Union’s budget funding and that Hungary will agree to certain EU demands.

Researcher Annastiina Kallius points out that while the development of the rule of law in Hungary has steadily deteriorated, its economic development has been positive. Kallius says that at some point the illusion has emerged in many EU countries that positive economic development would also lead to positive development in democracy, but Kallius says that a similar illusion has been suppressed here as in the case of Russia.

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“Hungary is an attractive country for Western companies. As the latest Northern European company, Lego set up a huge factory here. For example, German carmakers have invested large sums here. Orbán has a grip on the West through industry. ”

One A significant development in the situation in Hungary during the Ukrainian war has been the cooling of the relationship between Hungary and Poland.

Hungary and Poland have been countries in the European Union that have, among other things, opposed the freezing of subsidies to countries that violate the rule of law. In both countries, power is held by the right-wing populist party: Fidesz in Hungary, Law and Justice in Poland.

However, when Russia launched a full-scale attack on Ukraine in February, a clear rift arose between Hungary and Poland. Poland has openly supported Ukraine and has strongly condemned Russia’s hostilities.

Hungarian Prime Minister Orbán, for his part, had stated in the Mandiner newspaper even after the war began that Russia’s attack was due to provocations in the West, one notable example of which was Poland’s desire to “move the Western border to the Russian border.” In Poland In Rzeczpospolita this statement was called “back stabbing”.

Patrik Szicherle considers it clear that relations between Hungary and Poland have deteriorated during the war in Ukraine. It is due, above all, to the fact that Poland and Hungary have very different relations with Russia.

Instead, it remains to be seen how significant the weakening of relations between countries that have traditionally served as allies will have on EU decision-making, for example. He believes that the EU may even want to push for a deeper divide between Hungary and Poland.

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