Pro-Russian Orbán Declared State of Emergency in Hungary: What His New Government to Change

Wednesday, 25 May 2022

The new government will have to change not only the face and configuration of ministries but also the country's policy. In particular, towards Ukraine.

No matter how strong Orbán himself resists, these changes have already become inevitable, writes Dmytro Tuzhansky, director of the Institute for Central European Strategy, in his article Orbán's Reversal: How the New Government and the State of Emergency to Change Hungary's Course.

The Hungarian parliament approved a new government on Tuesday (May 24th).

In addition to real threats, such as the Russian war against Ukraine and its devastating consequences for Europe and the world, Hungary today also faces threats posed by... its previous government(s) led by Viktor Orbán.

These are, first of all, record-high inflation, blocking Hungary's payments from the European budget, the uncertain financial situation in the country due to the carnival of government generosity on the eve of the election, Hungary's catastrophic dependence on Russian energy, the importance of Russian investment in the country and more.

All Orbán's foreign policy, launched back in 2010, which was carefully built on anti-Brussels and pro-Russian narratives and schemes branded "Discovery to the East" after February 24, has become history.

And on May 25, the Hungarian government declared a "military emergency," formally due to hostilities in neighboring Ukraine.

The decision has no particular grounds. It just aims at further dramatizing the situation in Hungarian society. Thus it will increase the weight of the new government's efforts to save the country.

Orbán's new government will have 14 ministers in addition to the prime minister. Five of them are new faces compared to the previous government. However, this novelty is conditional, as some, perhaps even the crucial ones, novice ministers in the government, such as János Lázár and Tibor Navracsics, have worked with Orbán before.

The Hungarian government retains all the baggage of Ukrainian-Hungarian disputes in recent years: fatigue, resentment, frustration, and unprecedented pro-Russian position, presented under the guise of Hungarian national interests.

Unfortunately, there is not a single minister in Orbán's new government who understands modern Ukraine well or at least who can accept it without the trail of the Ukrainian-Hungarian dispute in recent years.
In the long run, both Budapest and Kyiv need to launch a real policy toward each other.

Budapest must finally understand that it will no longer be possible to combine the Ukrainian vector with its loyalty to Russia.

Apparently, the newly elected President of Hungary, Katalin Novák, will help the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Péter Szijjártó restore at least some balance between West and East in Hungarian foreign policy.

You can read more in the article by Dmytro Tuzhansky Orbán's Reversal: How the New Government and the State of Emergency to Change Hungary's Course.

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