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Viktor Orban Re-Elected Hungarian Prime Minister; Seen as Victory for Vladimir Putin

April 4th, 2022 10:39

US media is report­ing on the reelec­tion of Hun­gar­i­an Prime Min­is­ter Vik­tor Orban, described as “the Russ­ian Pres­i­den­t’s clos­est friend inside the EU and NATO.” Accord­ing to a Time Mag­a­zine report:

April 3, 2022 His forces may be bogged down in Ukraine, but Vladimir Putin was hand­ed a boost Sun­day. Hun­gar­i­an Prime Min­is­ter Vik­tor Orban—the Russ­ian President’s clos­est friend inside the E. U. and NATO—is on track to win a fourth suc­ces­sive term, with more than 80% of votes count­ed. Vote count­ing began after polls closed at 7 p. m. local time with Orban, 58, set to win a strong major­i­ty of the total 199 par­lia­men­tary seats. “We’ve won a vic­to­ry so big that you can see it from the moon, but you can cer­tain­ly see it from Brus­sels,” Orban told his sup­port­ers Sun­day evening, nod­ding to ten­sions with E. U. leaders.

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The Time report goes on to describe how under Orban’s lead­er­ship, the Hun­gar­i­an gov­ern­ment has become strong­ly pro-Russian:

Despite a pop­u­la­tion that is adamant­ly pro‑E.U., Hungary’s gov­ern­ment under Orban has stre ong­ly leaned toward the Krem­lin. Where­as Orban’s inter­na­tion­al mes­sag­ing empha­sized Hungary’s neu­tral­i­ty, domes­tic state media has been par­rot­ing Putin’s jus­ti­fi­ca­tion for the inva­sion. Orban has refused to denounce Putin by name, but instead only oppos­es “war” in Ukraine. He has also refused to allow NATO weapons to be trans­port­ed through his ter­ri­to­ry to Ukraine. Although Orban didn’t oppose E.U. sanc­tions on Russ­ian klep­to­crats or insti­tu­tions, he has vowed to block any tar­get­ing of Russ­ian oil or gas.

The Time report fur­ther details how Rus­si­a’s Fed­er­al Secu­ri­ty Ser­vice (FSB) has com­pro­mised Hun­gary’s For­eign Min­istry com­put­er net­work and inter­nal cor­re­spon­dence, seem­ing­ly with­out pub­lic com­plaint by Hun­gar­i­an authorities:

Orban is also a sig­nif­i­cant secu­ri­ty risk for allies. Accord­ing to an inves­ti­ga­tion by Direkt36, a Budapest-based non-prof­it inves­tiga­tive jour­nal­ism cen­ter, Russia’s Fed­er­al Secu­ri­ty Ser­vice (FSB) had com­plete­ly com­pro­mised Hungary’s For­eign Min­istry com­put­er net­work and inter­nal cor­re­spon­dence by mid-2021, and the breach remained active dur­ing recent E.U. and NATO cri­sis sum­mits. For­eign Min­is­ter Péter Szi­jjártó has not pub­licly com­plained about the cyber­at­tack, and on Dec. 3 he received the Order of Friend­ship medal—Russia’s high­est state hon­or for a foreigner—in Moscow on the orders of Putin himself.

The Glob­al Influ­ence Oper­a­tions Report (GIOR) recent­ly pub­lished the first in a series of reports on glob­al influ­ence oper­a­tions, titled “The Nation­al Con­ser­vatism Alliance: An Oppor­tu­ni­ty for Russ­ian Influ­ence?” The report is cen­tered on a new and devel­op­ing alliance between US con­ser­v­a­tives and Euro­pean nation­al­ists, a poten­tial means for Rus­sia to exert covert influ­ence in Europe and the US, using Hun­gary as a plat­form. The GIOR report details the role that Vik­tor Orban and the Hun­gar­i­an gov­ern­ment have been play­ing in this alliance.

Down­load the full report here.