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The content of russian-Hungarian relations

The content of russian-Hungarian relations

russian-Hungarian relations in the context of the situation in Ukraine.

Hungary has always remained in the orbit of russia’s interests, and the russian direction in Hungary’s foreign policy has been standing out against the background of EU policy for many years.

The main guide of russian politics in Hungary is the Fidesz party and its leader Viktor Orban.  Russia’s position in Hungary was significantly strengthened after the victory in the parliamentary elections, when Orbán began his ❗️5th term as prime minister.  After the victory, Orbán said that outside the European Union, russia is Hungary’s most important economic partner, and economic interaction is strategic.

Cooperation between Hungary and the russian federation in the economic and ideological spheres is determined by:

Hungary’s dependence on supplies of russian energy carriers was formed in previous years.

65% of all oil and 75% of gas consumed by the Hungarian economy comes from the russian federation, and there are no alternative lines of supply of these raw materials to the country in full.

On September 27, 2021, a new 15-year gas contract was signed, according to which Hungary should receive 4.5 billion cubic meters of gas per year from russia, which is about half of the country’s total needs.  The key thing is that according to the new agreement, gas will go to Hungary bypassing Ukraine – via Austria and Serbia as a continuation of the “Turkish Stream”.  Obviously, the kremlin offered a price that the parties simply could not refuse, even in the face of more difficult logistics and Hungary’s losses from blocking transit along the old route.

Therefore, in these conditions, it should not be surprising that Orban emphasized his readiness to buy russian gas for rubles, as the kremlin demands in an attempt to circumvent EU sanctions.

Additional facts confirming beneficial cooperation:

 🔺 russia, without holding a public tender, provided a loan of 10 billion dollars for the project to restore and increase the capacity of 4 power units of the Paksh NPP.

🔺 The rapid recognition of the russian vaccine “Sputnik V” in Hungary during the COVID-19 epidemic brought and continues to bring profit to Orbán-related business structures.

 🔺 Since 2019, the russian International Investment Bank (IIB) has been operating in Budapest, which has received wide privileges and close to diplomatic immunities.

Cultural expansion of the russian federation in Hungary.

Since 2011, the Association for Cultural Relations with russia named after L. Tolstoy and the Society of Friendship and Cultural Relations with russia.  With the participation of the “Russian World” foundation in universities named after  L. Etvesha (city of Budapest) and named after  J. Pannonius (city of Pecs), “russian offices” were opened, and “Hungarian points” were created in the universities of the capitals of the Finno-Hungarian regions of the russian federation.

🔺 The current government has recreated the russian model of a centralized media space. The main Hungarian mass media actively attack the Hungarian opposition, many lawsuits have been initiated for “defamation” against the government.

❗️Concerning the Ukrainian issue, Orban publicly condemned the military aggression of the russian federation, supported the sovereignty of Ukraine and agreed to accept up to 500,000 Ukrainian refugees.

Otherwise, official Budapest actually distanced itself from the rest of Europe in the sanctions pressure on russia due to its actions.  Orbán became the only leader in the EU who categorically and in principle refused to supply Ukraine with any weapons for defense against an attack by the russian federation and banned the transit of weapons from other countries through Hungarian territory, if they are headed for Ukraine.

🔺Hungary vetoes joining the new package of European Union sanctions against Russia, if these sanctions take into account the embargo on the import of russian oil to EU countries.

🔺 For this, the European Commission intends to freeze financial aid to Hungary due to problems with the democratic nature of state management.

Attempts by the russian federation to destabilize the situation in Transcarpathia, using the Hungarian factor.

🔺 Supporting russian narratives about the suppression of minority rights in Ukraine, Orban’s government regularly updated the problems of protecting the rights of Hungarians in Ukraine and even blocked the meeting of the Ukraine-NATO Commission, putting forward conditions for concessions from Ukraine.

🔺 putin’s main narrative about the “unimportance” of borders resonated with the Fidesz party leadership and its voters, who believe that the war in Ukraine could allow Hungary to regain the territories of Transcarpathia lost under the terms of the Trianon Peace Treaty.


❗️Taking into account the results of the parliamentary elections in Hungary, it can be predicted that the ruling team in Hungary will, as before, balance between the kremlin and the West, seeking to preserve all advantages from both sides.

🔺 Despite the latest statements of the Hungarian leadership regarding the oil embargo and russia’s war against Ukraine, the statement of the head of the Hungarian Foreign Ministry denies the opinion that it differs significantly from the position of other EU and NATO countries.

In addition, Hungary supported all 5 packages of EU sanctions and is counting on an alternative scenario from the European Commission that will allow Hungary to bypass the embargo.

🔺 Therefore, in the coming months, we should not expect a significant change in Budapest’s decisions regarding the support of Ukraine in the fight against russia.  Hungary will continue to provide exclusively humanitarian aid to its Ukrainian partners and join in insignificant for itself sanctions against the russian economy and elite and block Ukraine’s path to NATO.

🔺 Today, relations between Ukraine and Hungary are at the “lowest historical point”, but recently russia itself is giving reasons to persuade the Hungarian government to change its position towards Ukraine.

❗️ With a missile attack on Transcarpathia on May 3, on the territory of which a large Hungarian community lives, the president of the russian federation once again showed that the war in Ukraine affects not only Ukraine, but also Hungary, no matter how hard they try to ignore this fact in Budapest.

Without overcoming russian aggression in Ukraine, peace and security in Hungary are impossible, and by striking Transcarpathia, putin brought the war closer to the Hungarian border.

  • 6 May, 2022

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