“A Trojan Horse in the EU”: can the West do something about Orban?

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban continues to act contrary to European Union policy, which worries the EU and the US leadership.

The EU is now looking for legal ways to get rid of the pro-Russian politician, according to the Russian exiled opposition leader Gary Kasparov.

“Currently, there is no legal way to get rid of Orban. They might trying to buy him, blackmail him somehow,” Kasparov said in an interview with the Channel 24.

“The main problem with NATO and the EU is that they work according to peacetime rules. I think the current war should make people understand that the principle of consensus that works in NATO and the European Union is not functional in the face of such a confrontation”, – Kasparov stated.

Given Hungary’s numerous violations, members of the European Parliament doubt Budapest’s readiness to lead the EU from July 2024. The relevant European Parliament’s resolution against Hungary was adopted on 1 June.

Orban met with Putin in China

In Beijing on 17 October, the Hungarian prime minister discussed cooperation between Budapest and Moscow with the Russian dictator Vladimir Putin. In particular, Orban thanked Russia’s Rosatom for its “partnership” and Gazprom for “fulfilling agreements”.

During the meeting, Putin claimed that Russia allegedly “maintains relations with many European countries, including Hungary”.

According to the Russian dictator, relations between Hungary and Russia in recent years have been “built on considering each other’s interests”. In addition, there was “an increase in trade turnover”, but there has been a drop this year.

At the same time, Orban said that Hungary “never wanted to confront Russia” but rather that Hungary’s goal “was to establish and expand contacts”.

Orban used Russian propaganda terms on the war in Ukraine

During his meeting with Putin, the Hungarian prime minister called the war in Ukraine a “military operation”. This is what the Kremlin calls the full-scale war against Ukraine, denying in its propaganda that it is a war. Hungarian MP Marton Tompos reacted to the incident and called Orban’s statement a disgrace.

Orbán’s meeting with Putin in China has worried NATO. US Ambassador to Hungary David Pressman stated this. He stressed that NATO allies are concerned that the Hungarian prime minister met with the Russian president at a time when Russia is at war with Ukraine. However, there was no mention of any specific consequences for Hungary.

The head of the Hungarian prime minister’s office, Gulyas Gergely, said that the US ambassador was not authorised to determine Hungary’s foreign policy.

He also tried to justify the meeting between Putin and Orban by saying that US President Joseph Biden had also met with the Russian leader earlier. However, he did not specify this before the Kremlin’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine.

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