Hungary: An EU Member Tightening Relations With Russia, China, and Iran?
What defines Hungarian foreign policy in light of Russia’s war on Ukraine, growing alliances in the East and trembling regional partnerships? Dr. Edit Zgut-Przybylska, Political Scientist and Sociologist at the Polish Academy of Sciences in conversation with Dr. Sebastian Rejak, on AJC Central Europe’s 7 Minutes from Central Europe.
Dr. Zgut-Przybylska believes that the key objective of the Hungarian government is to maintain its power by strengthening its external financial and political support, sometimes at the cost of democratic values. Hungary is getting closer with countries like China, Russia, and Iran.
Rationally speaking, this strategy of Eastern opening, including Iran and China, abandoning the European Union and the United States in favor of these countries, is really not in the economic or political interest of Hungary.
– the political scientist explained, adding that Hungary is still dependent on EU finds and that 80% of Hungary’s trade is still undertaken within the European Union and with the United States.
Talking about regional alliances, Dr. Zgut-Przybylska is of the opinion that the Russian invasion of Ukraine has brought about a crack in the Polish-Hungarian friendship. The war is a question of security and self-identification for Poland, while Hungary seeks to maintain good relations with the Kremlin, pursuing an anti-Ukrainian rhetoric, the expert underscored. Poland, though it pursues its euro-skeptic narrative, is firmly committed to Western alliances. The same cannot be safely said about Hungary. It remains to be seen whether Budapest will value regional relations and EU unity more than actual or potential gains in the East.