Hungary's Orbán wants warmer EU-Russia ties to boost business

Viktor Orbán. Budapest, 2011. [Europa Point/Flickr] [Europa Pont]

Victor Orbán, who stated that Europe has "shot itself in foot" by imposing sanctions on Russia, told diplomats on Monday (25 August) that he would seek support from other EU countries to improve relations with Moscow.

Speaking to the annual gathering of Hungary's ambassadors, the Hungarian prime minister again warned against further alienating Moscow, which the EU has put under sanctions for its role in Ukraine.

"The EU gets further from Russia every day ... (This) is bad, not for Hungary, but the entire European Union," he said in a speech outlining his newly-formed third government's foreign policy priorities.

"We must seek the company of EU countries interested in the slowing or halting of this unfavourable separation process," he said, adding that because central and eastern European countries had no consensus on the issue, they could not act together.

Orbán, whose conservative Fidesz party in April won a new four-year term, has been accused by some parts of the EU of seeking to amass too much power and rejecting democratic checks and balances.

The Hungarian prime minister added that Poland and the Baltic states considered the Russian issue foremost a security matter, a view not shared by Hungary. Orbán said his country looks upon Moscow as a business partner, and considers other aspects of the situation as secondary.

"Values are important, as NATO and the EU both rest on shared values, but that does not mean we should relate to countries outside our alliances based on their political culture, institutions, democracy, or any other views," he said.

Addressing another issue that might put him at odds with Brussels, the prime minister promised a hard line on immigration.

"We must fight to keep this issue under national jurisdiction," he said. "I make no secret of this: we will continue with a very tough policy that does not at all encourage immigration ... For Europe to have general rules that affect all of us who think differently is out of the question."

  • 26 Aug.:  Poroshenko to attend Customs Union summit in Minsk;
  • 30 Aug.: EU leaders hold summit in Brussels;
  • 30 Aug.: Poroshenko to meet with EU leaders in Brussels;
  • 4-5 Sept.: Poroshenko to attend NATO summit in Cardiff.


Jay's picture

All of EU would do well to listen and end their vassal relationship to the crumbling empire across the great pond. Remember what happened the last time EU isolated Russia?

Eurochild's picture

Erm, no, what happened?

Do you know what you're talking about?

By the way, the biggest vassal is Mr Orban - to his illiberal political role model Putin!

Jay's picture

How old are you, child? Did you learn anything about the Russian - Georgia war when you were in school? Or any of the gas disputes between Russia - EU/Ukraine prior to the current one? What happen to Russia in 1999? It's more than nuclear fuel rods chum.

Eurochild's picture

Perhaps Mr Orban could kick things off. For example, he could offer Kremlin-controlled state enterprises the opportunity to build a 10 bn euro nuclear power plant in Hungary. And, because Hungary doesn't actually have the 10 bn euro, he could simply borrow 80% of that amount from Russia, and so be completely indebted to, dependent upon and subservient to Moscow. He doesn't need to bother having a transparent call for tender, where government, parliament and society as a whole could discuss which is the best option for such a hugely important decision - he could just hand construction of the nuclear plant straight over to Russia. The total interest on that 80% could come to around 9 bn euros extra, for a total of 19 bn euros, plus the other 2 bn euros the Hungarian state will have to borrow on the markets and pay interest on as well (although, perhaps lower than the interest rates offered by Russia). That should certainly warm relations, in more ways than one.

Oh, wait. He's already done that!

Jay's picture

Okay child, before pinning your hopes on a falling star take a moment and remember a few facts:

1) 76% of Working Americans have Little or NO savings...
2) Actual job creation is at ZERO and has been for years...
3) The REAL unemployment rate in the U.S. is at 12.6% and has been for years...
4) Actual Wages are falling and have been for years...
5) 1 in 5 Americans receives food assistance in one form or another each and every day.
6) Over 50 million Americans are living in out right Poverty...over 16 million are children...

Also see:

Don't count on the US to help you, their second revolution is right around the corner. Where will you be then?