July 27, 2018

The Kremlin's puppet

Hungary as an Instrument of Russia's Hybrid War Against Ukraine

 

Recently, at the July summit, the leaders of NATO member states confirmed the immutability of their positions on the recognition of Ukraine's right to join the North Atlantic Alliance. They also clarified and specified measures to deepen the process of Euro-Atlantic integration, which our Western partners promised to help with.

Obviously, representatives of the RF leadership, including V. Putin himself, sharply negatively reacted to those statements, pointing out that Ukraine's possible membership in the Alliance would be inappropriate for Russia. And reacting, they once again began to threaten over this.

Thus, Ukraine's possible accession to NATO does not coincide with the interests of Russia. And not because it “directly and immediately threatens its national security”, as Moscow claims, but for an absolutely different reason. After all, even becoming a member of NATO, Ukraine, like the rest of this Organization's members, would never threaten Russia with military attack.

…Ukraine's joining NATO will make completely impossible Russia's efforts to establish control over our state, and therefore its desire to build a full Eurasian Union as a form of reincarnation of the former USSR…

The point is that Ukraine's joining NATO will make completely impossible Russia's efforts to establish control over our state, and therefore its desire to build a full Eurasian Union as a form of reincarnation of the former USSR. Since this is fundamentally important for the Putin regime, it not only denies Ukraine's membership in NATO, but is also trying to prevent such a development of events.

This is the main reason behind Russia's armed aggression in the Ukrainian East, launched after our Revolution of Dignity, which, in its turn, enabled Ukraine to return to the course of European and Euro-Atlantic integration. Moscow, however, has not managed to stop this process. Moreover, unlike in previous years, the leading NATO countries support Ukraine's Euro-Atlantic aspirations. We just need to fulfill all the necessary conditions for this.

Given all the current circumstances, Russia has decided to change the tactics of creating obstacles for Ukraine in its rapprochement with the North Atlantic Alliance. In particular, it relies on NATO members from among the countries of Central and Eastern Europe. On the one hand, they are interested in developing economic cooperation with Russia, on the other hand, they have problems in the history of relations with Ukraine. At this, it takes into consideration NATO's democratic peculiarity, such as equality of all its members, and in particular, the right of each of them to veto the Organization's decisions.

The Hungarian parliament is dominated by political forces of a populist nature
The Hungarian parliament is dominated by political forces of a populist nature

As part of such an approach, such a tool of Moscow is Hungary — a most problematic member of NATO and the EU. This is due to the specifics of the Hungarian parliament and government. Thus, the Hungarian parliament is dominated by political forces of a populist nature, including Fidesz-KDNP (in fact nationalistic), Jobbik, the Hungarian Socialist Party (MSZP), and LMP (“Politics May Be Different”, is positioned as “new left”).

All of them, including thanks to Russia's support, managed to win in the last parliamentary elections in April 2018. Under the agreement of the aforementioned forces, V. Orban, the leader of the Fidesz Party, remains the Prime Minister of the country. Today he is for lifting the EU sanctions against Russia, he is very negative about the closure of the Russian “South Stream” project (construction of a new gas pipeline along the bottom of the Black Sea bypassing by Ukraine), rejects the migration policy of the European Union, while accusing Kyiv of violating the rights of the Hungarian minority in Trans-Carpathian region Ukraine and demanding autonomy for it.

Russia also uses for its own goals its close economic ties with Hungary. Thus, the volume of trade between the two countries is more than 5 billion US dollars and has a steady upward trend despite the EU sanctions against Russia. The total amount of Russian investment in Hungary is about 0.9 billion US dollars, while Hungarian in Russia — 1 billion US dollars. Russia is also the main supplier of energy carriers to Hungary, providing 70 % of its oil and 65 % of gas needs. The two countries are going to construct two nuclear power units in Hungary with a total value of 12 billion US dollars.

Russia seeks to provoke a conflict now in the west of Ukraine, by sharpening our relations with Hungary
Russia seeks to provoke a conflict
now in the west of Ukraine, by sharpening our relations with Hungary

All this allows Russia to manipulate Hungary's policy for its own purposes, including over the issue of Ukraine's Euro-Atlantic integration. For this purpose, for example, the completely fictitious problem of “harassing ethnic Hungarians in the Ukrainian territory” is used. Obviously, in this way — purposefully exacerbating the situation around this issue with the help of the Russian agents from the environment of the Hungarian minority, and with the assistance of the nationalist circle of Hungary and personally V. Orban and his entourage, Russia seeks to provoke a conflict now in the west of Ukraine, by sharpening our relations with Hungary and hindering our country's cooperation with NATO.

Hungary did already block the meetings of the NATO-Ukraine Commission and the Alliance's plans for deepening cooperation with our state under the pretext of the adoption of the Law of Ukraine “On Education” (September 2017), which allegedly violates the rights of ethnic minorities. At this, it demands from Kyiv to cancel this law or to make radical changes to it. Obviously, it counts on inadmissibility of the above-mentioned demands for Ukraine, as they contradict the policy of strengthening its statehood's foundations, including in the spheres of the language and education. Thus, Hungary creates a lose-lose situation where Ukraine cannot make concessions, and Hungary uses it to slow down the process of Ukraine's European integration.

Russia openly supports Hungary. The Russian media are conducting a targeted information campaign with a positive coverage of the above-mentioned Hungary's demands, unjustified criticism of the Ukrainian Law “On Education”, as well as various kinds of insinuations around the situation of ethnic minorities in the Ukrainian territory. Besides, during the NATO-Russia Council's session on May 31, 2007, the Russian side urged the Alliance to press Ukraine to change the language component of its educational reform. Dissatisfaction with the Ukrainian law was expressed only by one of the NATO members, namely Hungary.

V. Putin and V. Orban in Moscow, July 15, 2018
V. Putin and V. Orban in Moscow, July 15, 2018

By the way, July 15, 2018, immediately after the NATO summit in Brussels, at which the Hungarian side again blocked the meeting of the NATO-Ukraine Commission, there was a meeting of President of Russia V. Putin and Prime Minister of Hungary V. Orban. According to media reports, the parties confirmed the “positive” nature of their relations and promised to intensify bilateral trade and economic cooperation.

And it would be appropriate here to remind how Russia and Hungary are trying to conceal the existence of problems with the violation of the rights of ethnic minorities in their own territories. For example, July 25, 2018, the RF State Duma adopted the Law “On Education in the RF”, which cancelled the mandatory study of local national languages in the autonomous republics. And as a consequence, such requirements have been removed from most curricula. In its turn, Hungarian public educational institutions do not meet the needs of national minorities in their getting education in their native language either. At this, the Law of Ukraine “On Education” does not foresee such a prohibition, as Russia and Hungary state, it just states that some educational subjects should be studied in Ukrainian and only from the fifth class.

Well, what else can I say here?

In 1956, the Hungarian people's attempt to gain freedom was severely suppressed by Soviet troops
In 1956, the Hungarian people's attempt to gain freedom was severely suppressed by Soviet troops

Is it worth recalling history, when Russia, in the face of the former USSR, after the Second World War, established control over Hungary and rigidly kept it in its sphere of influence until the collapse of the Eastern bloc in the late 1980s. Or how in 1956, the Hungarian people's attempt to gain freedom was severely suppressed by Soviet troops. In the course of hostilities, according to official data alone, 2,652 Hungarian citizens were killed and 19,226 Hungarians were injured.

Given the current situation, namely, Moscow's moving to a neo-imperial policy to restore a copy of the USSR and its sphere of influence, the current policy of Budapest can be perceived not only as a betrayal of the memory of all victims, but also as the one posing a direct threat to security. Because if Russia succeeds in overcoming Ukraine's resistance, then the countries of Central and Eastern Europe, including Hungary, will inevitably be the next victims of its aggression... And Russia does not even hide its obvious intentions. Scenarios of the Russian attack on the countries of the Central and Eastern Europe are systematically practiced during the military exercises of the Russian Armed Forces, including during the SCSE of the “West” series.

And in conclusion, I would like to return once more to the events of 1956 and their assessments by the Russian media, which show Russia's real attitude to Hungary. In particular, against the background of V. Putin's meeting with V. Orban, a number of well-known Russian media published articles in which the Hungarian people's uprising against the communist pro-Soviet regime was called “counterrevolutionary riot” (based on the example of Russian attitude to the Revolution of Dignity in Ukraine). And even more so, citing “Hungarian historians”, the authors of the publications argued that the leaders of the uprising were Hungarian fascists who had fought on the side of Hitler's Germany and tried to take revenge. It was pointed out that Germans during the WWII involved the Hungarians in punitive operations against the peaceful population of Ukraine, in particular, in the city of Chernihiv and the surrounding villages, where almost 60 thousand people were killed.

Well, who can doubt the cynicism and falsity of Russia's policy, which, on the one hand, shows its “friendly” attitude to Hungary, but on the other hand despises and uses it for its own purposes, including contrary to genuine Hungarian interests? Unfortunately, for the sake of its own interests, the current Hungarian leadership does not want to understand this and actually betrays its country.

 

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