Espreso. Global
OPINION

Few points on Orban's visit to Moscow and hype around it

5 July, 2024 Friday
21:05

Orban, while in Moscow, is presenting himself solely as the Prime Minister of Hungary. His visit was not authorized by the EU, the European Council, or any other European structure

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Therefore, his "peace initiatives" are exclusively his own efforts.

Why now? Because he has six months of happiness. Hungary currently holds the EU presidency. This grants Orban an additional nominal status to pursue global initiatives, even without authorization.

What is Orban's mercantile interest? This is just a hypothesis. It could be to secure economic and political benefits from Moscow and its primary partner, China. For instance, extending gas transit to Hungary - not Russian gas, but via the Russian and Ukrainian gas transportation systems. However, political interest outweighs economic concerns.

What is Orban's political interest? To demonstrate to Hungarian voters and potential EU allies that he remains strong. That he can engage with any party and act as a mediator between the West and authoritarian regimes.

Why is it important for Orban to prove it now? Because his political standing has recently weakened. In the European Parliamentary elections, Orban's Fidesz party only narrowly surpassed Péter Magyar's Tisza party, which gained 30%. Therefore, Orban's undisputed leadership in Hungarian politics is facing intense pressure for the first time in 15 years. Additionally, Orban had to form his own microgroup in the European Parliament because he was not accepted into the mainstream right and refused to align with extremists like the AfD (as he sees it).

What reasons does Putin have to host Orban? Why is it important for him? To demonstrate that there are individuals in Europe willing to engage with him. For this, he is prepared to offer incentives, possibly of an economic nature. This is because maintaining ties with North Korea and fostering close relations with its regime harm Putin's image, even in the global South.

What about conspiracies? It is rather difficult to believe the version that Orban is some kind of mysterious "emissary of China." Why would China want to do that? Why would China use the leader of another country, in whom neither the EU nor Ukraine has confidence, when it has enough of its own means to convey its message?

Can Orban really act as a mediator in peace talks? Very unlikely. If there is a neutral platform for negotiations, it will be a country in the global south - Saudi Arabia, India, Singapore, Qatar, the UAE, or another such nation.

Therefore, this visit is mainly about boosting Orban's authority in his own eyes and the eyes of his voters while trying to gain something situationally. Additionally, it serves Putin's desire to show that he has interlocutors beyond Patrushev or Kim.

Why did Zelenskyy host Orban? Because we don't have the luxury of not communicating with the leader of a NATO and EU member state, our neighbor, and a person who still has to vote on issues that are vital to us, even if he does so under pressure from other alliance countries.

This visit cannot be the basis for "total betrayal" or any real negotiations.

Source

About the author. Yuriy Bohdanov, publicist, specialist in strategic communications in the field of business, public administration, and politics.

The editors do not always share the opinions expressed by the blog authors.



 
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