Ukraine: What Exactly is Hungary Being Reproached For?Ferenc Almássy
“There can be no Russian networks in Europe that split the EU from within, those that are trying to help Russia make as much money as possible even now. Everyone knows very well who in the European Union opposes humanity and common sense, and who does nothing at all to help establish peace in Ukraine. This must stop, and Europe must stop listening to any excuses from officials in Budapest,” Ukrainian President Zelensky said in a videoconference with the Danish parliament on 29 March.
Since the beginning of the conflict between Russia and Ukraine, Hungary has been singled out for its refusal to accept Ukraine’s demands, especially by the Ukrainian authorities, who are spending a lot of energy telling European countries what to do and issuing moral judgements after having armed civilians and refused serious negotiations with Russia for some time.
Zelensky speaks of humanity and common sense while demanding that Hungary give up Russian gas, which is a nice example of the pot calling the kettle black. At a time when the comedian from Kyiv is playing the sanctimonious commander and geopolitics seems to be rising from its ashes while becoming more democratic (allowing for an escape from the Covid narrative, which will no doubt only be temporary), let us recall a few basic elements of common sense and geopolitics:
- Hungary is not Ukraine.
- Hungary is not at war with Russia.
- Hungary’s interests are not identical to those of Ukraine.
- Viktor Orbán leads Hungary.
- Volodymyr Zelensky leads Ukraine.
It should be easy for everyone to follow up to this point, right?
But let us continue.
- Hungary is struggling to rearm and does not want to get involved in a conflict in its neighbourhood for fear of being dragged into it. It will therefore not send weapons and wants to stay out of anything that could lead to escalation, including the shipping of weapons across its border with Ukraine.
On the Ukrainian side of the border, there are some 100-150,000 ethnic Hungarians. Hungarians have been living there for more than 11 centuries, as that region only became part of Ukraine under Stalin’s rule. Arms shipments across this region could drag it into the conflict. It has been spared until now, but the Russians have warned they will strike Western arms convoys once they reach Ukrainian soil.
- Hungary is 85% dependent on Russian gas.
This gas is used for heating (60% of Hungarians heat their homes with gas), and also by the industrial sector.
- Viktor Orbán inherited this dependence.
During his three consecutive terms in office since 2010, he has also been the Hungarian leader who has done the most to diversify the country’s energy sources since the end of Communism, notably by engaging the country in the Three Seas Initiative (linking Croatian and Polish liquefied natural gas [LNG] terminals) and by negotiating assiduously with Serbia, Turkey, and Azerbaijan for the purchase and transport of gas from the South Caucasus.
- The country does not have the financial, material, physical, and logistical means to replace its entire supply line of Russian gas in less than ten years, according to Hungarian experts.
Is this clearer now?
Hungary is also 65% dependent on Russian oil and uranium.
But let us go even further.
The gas shortage that will strike Europe will, in the best-case scenario, send gas prices through the roof. In the worst-case scenario, people will be unable to heat their homes, and some industries will have to be shut down.
This means that Europe is entering a major crisis against which no national political measure can fully protect its citizens in the long term, due to the European markets’ economic and energy interdependence.
What the measures taken against the Covid pandemic began, the sanctions against Russia are continuing wonderfully as well: the price rises in energy, fuel, food, construction materials, and electronics are only just beginning.
But even this is not enough for the United States and Ukraine, who are ready to fight to the last European, respectively for its strategic interests and for the survival of its regime. The Europeans follow them, driven by fear and emotion, and unaware of such a choice’s consequences . . . It is pure madness.
“I know that eliminating Russian gas will have costs for Europe,” President Biden said, rubbing his hands together at the prospect of selling us three times as much overpriced American LNG. “But it’s not only the right thing to do from a moral standpoint, it’s going to put us on a much stronger strategic footing,” he explained. Forget about the moral justification, which is absolutely obscene coming from the leader of the nation that has invaded more countries than any other over the last 100 years, as well as the country of Little Boy and Fat Man, of Guantánamo, of the Patriot Act, of wiretapping and economic warfare against its own allies, and on and on. Biden is right, however, about the strategic dimension of the present situation. Europe is submitting completely to Washington’s will, and the United States is seeing its position being strengthened there after having gradually disengaged from Europe to focus on the Pacific. This is a golden opportunity for the United States, which understands it as follows: it is taking Europe back into its fold and subjugating it even further by imposing US LNG on the Old Continent, thus winning not only new and juicy market shares but also considerable leverage for influence.
So, little Hungary, which has known many misfortunes over the last hundred years – two lost world wars in which it was embroiled against its will, a Bolshevik revolution, German and Soviet occupations, the carving up of its historical territory in an unbalanced and unjust treaty, enormous destruction and the displacement of its population, the revolt and repression of 1956, – does not need any lessons while trying to find a way to survive in a storm. It especially does not need such lessons from Ukraine, a captive state and a Jacobin country that cares nothing for its indigenous Hungarian minority, and whose MP, Serhiy Melnychuk, threatened Hungary in 2019 by saying that the Ukrainian army could invade the country in two hours.
And yet, per capita Hungary is the country that has welcomed the largest number of Ukrainian refugees, giving them help, support, care, and accommodation without hesitation, neither on the part of the authorities or the population.
And there is no grievance or problem being held against these Ukrainian refugees that Hungary is proud to help.
So, if defending our interests is something that anyone still cares about, and if anyone still assigns some importance to the notion of national sovereignty, then it is high time to put reason back into the heart of politics and to get rid of emotionalism, which has always been a tool of manipulation.
Yes, Russia has declared war on Ukraine and invaded it. Soldiers and civilians are dying, and refugees are losing everything and fleeing their country. It is a genuine human drama called war. It is only a conventional war so far, thank God. It is a crisis, just like so many in the history of mankind. And in crises, it is imperative to keep a cool head. Any overreaction, any hysteria, any decision determined by intense and circumstantial emotions is a mistake. Even worse, it is a fault in a political leader, whose first and foremost mission is to preserve his or her country’s interests. Out of a sense of esprit de corps and in the hope that this could be used to pressure Russia into bringing peace faster, Hungary has agreed to the sanctions package, even though doing so is against its own direct interests considering that these sanctions are hitting Hungary harder than Russia . . . As for the grotesque accusations of Hungary being “pro-Russian” or of being a Russian pawn, they are not worth wasting one’s time with; they are just a rehash of the Western “woke” conspiracy theory that sees Russian agents everywhere as soon as one does not march in the gay pride parades or when one does business with Russia. These same people have no problem with those countries where slavery still exists, where homosexuals are thrown off rooftops and women are stoned to death for suspected adultery, where social credit is the norm, where peaceful demonstrators have their eyes gouged out by the police, where Christians are killed only for their faith, where Covid “contact cases” are forcibly interned and deprived of their constitutional rights, and so on. They are hypocrites.
Finally, here is a secondary, yet practical question: Ukraine produces two-thirds of its own gas, but as for the rest, Hungary is its second-largest supplier, just after Poland. Shall our gas tap be turned off, too? After all, it is mainly Russian gas . . .
This interview originally appeared at The Visegrád Post.
* * *
Counter-Currents has extended special privileges to those who donate $120 or more per year.
- First, donor comments will appear immediately instead of waiting in a moderation queue. (People who abuse this privilege will lose it.)
- Second, donors will have immediate access to all Counter-Currents posts. Non-donors will find that one post a day, five posts a week will be behind a “paywall” and will be available to the general public after 30 days.
To get full access to all content behind the paywall, sign up here:
Paywall Gift Subscriptions
If you are already behind the paywall and want to share the benefits, Counter-Currents also offers paywall gift subscriptions. We need just five things from you:
- your payment
- the recipient’s name
- the recipient’s email address
- your name
- your email address
To register, just fill out this form and we will walk you through the payment and registration process. There are a number of different payment options.
Hungarians didn’t forget when Biden called him a totalitarian thug. They know the same anti-Putin formula could (and it will be) aplied to Orban too. The elections are held on the third, the same time in Serbia. Both countries are under ‘foreign’ (see U.S./G.B./Open society) interference – in both counties the foreign money ‘unified’ mish-mash of opposition parties. In Serbia they are promising unrest (they decided the elections were unfair and unwinnable ahead of time). Western Liberal Democracy is a scurge to humanity.
Interesting how of all our post-Trianon neighbors we have the best relations with the Serbs. Things had already started to improve in the early 2000s, even before Orbán-Vučić became an item. During the Russian-Ukrainian gas disputes, when Ukraine’s contract wasn’t renewed, Russia only pumped enough gas into the pipeline to supply downstream customers like Hungary and Serbia. I still remember the unusual cold spell in January 2006, when Ukraine simply stole our gas from the pipeline to heat Kyiv (not for the first or last time). Hungary ground to a halt, and the proud Serbs came asking for our emergency reserves so they could at least heat their hospitals.
That was when Putin decided to build new pipelines under the Baltic Sea and the Black Sea. No one thought he could do it, but he did. (“Russia is never as strong as she looks; Russia is never as weak as she looks.”) Since October 1, 2021 we get our gas through Turkstream, Bulgaria and Serbia. Ukraine lost direct access to the gas and the transit fees. Ukrainian Foreign Minister Kuleba said we should be ashamed of ourselves and reported our bad behavior in Brussels.
Needless to say, we also lost transit fees from Serbia — now the money flows backwards. Did we throw a tantrum in Belgrade? No, we are grown-ups. We congratulated the Serbs on their good luck of being situated in Serbia and moved on.
Very happy to see that happening, especially since the presidents of both countries are annoying the Liberal West, and are on the ‘ preferable – regime change’ list. I am planning to take the “Soko” bullet train to visit Budapest this Summer. Best wishes brother!
Let’s not forget our hero, Hungarian-Serbian Col. Zoltán Dani, commander of the 250th Air Defense Missile Brigade, who shot down the Stealth fighter in 1999.
This is probably obvious, but are you actually Hungarian, and living in Hungary? I only ask because, as with other self-identified East Europeans here, your English is excellent. Consider writing some pieces from time to time on the East European situation.
Thanks. Yes, I’m a garden variety Hungarian.
There’s no real interest in Eastern Europe right now. All of last month’s covid experts are now experts on Eastern Europe. All made up their mind, all are busy in their own bubble on Twitter and Telegram. Talking to them is like talking to a wall.
The Hungarian experience: It’s 2015 again, everyone gone mad, we are the only sane people in the room. In 3 years what we say now will be self-evident and quietly accepted by all, but we are not there yet.
A very, very interesting article:
As long as documents have surfaced guess it is legit.
Not my domain but guess Orban bet on a losing horse. Things are not going to stay this way.
Hungary does the smart thing. This is not my war. The moment everyone agrees that the war between Ukraine and Russia is everyone’s war, it becomes a World War.
It already is. The economic war of attrition – and the U.S. will lose. Biden announced opening up the U.S. strategic oil reserves, at 1 million barrels a day, (realistically only 500, 000) really hurting the domestic production, until the end of the year. For what, to prop up Ukraine, and ‘regime change?’ Biden, Blinken “Noodland”, Sullivan, and the NeoCons are a runaway train, without a reverse gear.
Orbán should stand up for the Hungarian minority in the Ukraine and march his troops in and hold a referendum in the region. The Russians will not attack a NATO member and it is of no concern to them anyway.
Hungary has no military of significance, but beyond that if they did such a thing they would undoubtedly be booted from both NATO and the EU, and Hungary can’t afford that.
It’s just a few villages and a small town. We are a tiny minority even within Transcarpathia. (Therefor ideal scapegoats.)
Relations between local Hungarians and Ukrainians are good. Relations between Budapest and the Transcarpathian Ukrainian political elite are good. The source of trouble is Kyiv, but even in case of escalation we’ll rather just take in 100,000 people.
But we support until the last minute those who want to stay. If Kyiv can get rid of its Hungarians, other post-Trianon states will do the same, and 3 million refugees is just too much to swallow.
Moldova is the country with the most Ukrainian refugees per capita.
Anyway, somebody is doctoring the numbers. Funny thing that the numbers don’t add up.
Anyway, there are about 600 000 Romanians in Ukraine.
Putin proposed few years ago a partition of Ukraine between Russia, Poland, Hungary and Romania). It was refused as highly immoral, and dangerous.
Immoral because neighbors should not gang up to beat up a weakened neighbor. This is the traditional Russian modus operandi which is disgusting.
Dangerous, from the Romanian point of view because the Romanians were deported long ago from the former Romanian territories and as I understand are pretty much dispersed. Guess this is true for the Hungarian population too.
It should have nothing to do with NATO and EU, this attitude may easily spark another European war which no one should desire.
“Hungary is its second-largest supplier, just after Poland”
The gas trade is complicated, but 90% of Ukraine’s imported gas is from Hungary (source).
“It is important that a new contract is signed with Hungary, from which Ukraine has transported 90 per cent of all the import gas this year  by virtual reverse.”
It’s Russian molecules sold to or through Hungary, and re-sold to Ukraine, obviously with Putin’s permission.
An excellent overview of the Hungarian situation vis a vis Ukraine, marred only by this throwaway line of leftist tripe:
… from the leader of the nation that has invaded more countries than any other over the last 100 years, as well as the country of Little Boy and Fat Man, of Guantánamo, of the Patriot Act, of wiretapping and economic warfare against its own allies …
The atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima was 100% morally justifiable to anyone with a basic understanding of a) ethics, and b) the military situation at the time. The most knowledgeable persons, then and now, believed that a US amphibious invasion of the Japanese home islands could have cost over a million lives. What responsible US President would not have dropped the bomb to compel Japanese surrender? OTOH, I have read that he second bomb, on Nagasaki, was completely unjustified, as the Emperor was actively trying to surrender after Hiroshima.
There is nothing in the least shameful about Guantanamo, either. We house dangerous Muslim terrorists there. So what? Are we America First nationalists, Occidentalists, and white preservationists – or not???
As to the Patriot Act, I, too, opposed it, though for prudential as opposed to moralistic reasons. I have never trusted the US Deep State, and I don’t want those antiwhite and anti-Occidental bureaucrats having exceptional powers. But there is nothing inherently immoral about taking string measures to protect a nation from alien terrorism.
The Right should never attempt to ingratiate itself with the Left by adopting any of their talking points. It just leads to the dilution of our own agenda and efforts.
This is embarrassing. I need to check more carefully for typos before I post. Comment above:
“the second bomb”
“taking strong measures”
Is there any possibility of publishing Dugin book “ foundations of geopolitics ” for Counter Currents Publishing amid Ukrainian crisis? People would be thrilled to read such a timely book and in the meantime, Counter Currents Publishing will become a household name.
Even if I wanted to publish Dugin, which I don’t, it is against the law for me as an American to do business with Dugin.
Comments are closed.
If you have Paywall access,
simply login first to see your comment auto-approved.
Note on comments privacy & moderation
Your email is never published nor shared.
Comments are moderated. If you don't see your comment, please be patient. If approved, it will appear here soon. Do not post your comment a second time.
Edit your comment