Hungarian economic historian István Teplán shares his thoughts on the recent developments in Central and Eastern Europe, and warns that revisionism could pose a danger to Ukraine’s territorial integrity from different directions.
It is crystal clear now that Viktor Orbán not only created the most corrupt government of the European Union, where political power is used to enrich the Orbán family-clan and systematically destroyed civil liberties and the values of the EU, but it is also obvious that he has been serving Putin’s interest in the most subservient way. Orbán systematically undermined the common EU position, thus contributed to the inaction of the EU to effectively prevent Putin’s aggression. Orbán is Putin’s Trojan horse as many analysts phrase it.
Now it is surfacing that Orbán was not only looking for Putin’s “big-brother” support and Russian gas and oil. It is also revealed that Orbán shares the delirium of Milosevic and Putin to change the post-World War II order of the European peace and stability, and ultimately wants to change the Hungarian borders set by the so-called Trianon Treaty in 1920 and in the Paris Peace Treaty of 1947.
As the interwar Horthy regime hoped to favorably change the Hungarian borders with Hitler’s help, Orbán also hoped to change the borders with Putin’s help. At least eastward in the Transcarpathian region. Unfortunately, Hungarians know all too well the outcome of siding with an aggressor to gain territories. Enough to refer to Count Teleki’s suicide note from 1941 “We have allied ourselves to scoundrels …We will become ghouls!”
Orbán delivered a remarkably open speech on the 100th anniversary of the Trianon Treaty on June 6, 1920, where he called upon the Hungarians to be ready for the final fight for the nation:
“We (Hungarians) are again the most populous country of the Carpathian Basin. The earth is trembling under the feet of our Eastern neighbor…. it is the task of our generation to fulfill the mission and lead our nation to the gate of victory. Prepare, prepare every day!..(Sátoraljaújhely, June 6th, 2020)“
Orbán started to talk about the rearmament of the Hungarian forces and simultaneously his brutal henchman László Kövér about reintroducing mandatory military service for Hungarian youth. Orbán’s expansion plan was also revealed in details by Roman Giertych.
We can be certain that Putin will not stop in Ukraine. Now in a Russian state TV show in prime time, they discuss possible nuclear strike on Europe, the Russian invasion of Poland and Lithuania, and a corridor to Kaliningrad, which threatens Germany and the Baltic states. All too familiar? Just like Hitler’s demand for a corridor to Danzig? Staged atrocities for casus belli? Unfortunately, the similarities are not illusions but reality!
Putin disclosed his plans on 15 December 2021 as a precursor for his war against Ukraine. His demands include a ban on Ukraine entering NATO and a limit to the deployment of troops and weapons to NATO’s eastern flank, in effect returning NATO forces to where they were stationed in 1997, before an eastward expansion, in other words the reviving of the ill-fated Soviet Brezhnev Doctrine, in which Russian interest overrules the self-determination, independence and sovereignty of nations, and justifies interventions and overthrowing elected governments of neighboring states.
This is where Orbán saw his opportunity to finally accomplish border revisions, which would cement his friendship with Putin and, in Orbán’s hopes, would keep him and his family-clan in power for ever. In return, becoming a pariah nation and the poorest in Europe is not a high price for Orbán, as long as his family-clan can preserve the wealth they have accumulated during his reign.
Wouldn’t you think that the EU, which now has a powerful rule of law mechanism, is ready to put an end to this? Au contraire! It is pathetic that knowing the obvious that Orbán is simply a Putin-agent, upon the outbreak of the war, the first reaction of the head of the European Commission was to hold off on immediately triggering its powerful new rule-of-law mechanism, which was recently approved by the Court of Justice of the EU.
It seems that Europe has forgotten how to deal with dictators! They are sneaky and only understand powerful messages, otherwise they keep moving forward with their agenda. Europe should remember this and deal with Orbán accordingly!
Cover photo credit: HírTV
István Teplán is is a Hungarian economic historian, sociologist and educator. He is one of the creators of the first international Western-style graduate school in post-communist Central and Eastern Europe, and one of the founders of the Central European University (CEU). He is a contributor to international conferences and journals, and an advisor to the Budapest-based think tank Civitas Intézet.
Photo credit: István Teplán, Twitter