Former MEP: Hungary eyes post-war benefits from Russia

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The Hungarian government believes that Russia will win the war against Ukraine and therefore avoids sanctions against Moscow, Hungarian politician and former MEP Benedek Jávor told EURACTIV Poland in an interview, adding that Budapest silently hopes there will be a modification of borders in the region.

“They [Hungarian government] want to maintain good relations with Russia. They believe Moscow will defeat Ukraine, and there’s a chance for modifying the borders with Ukraine and annexation of the Podkarpackie region,” Jávor said.

Asked if this is an “official” plan, he replied negatively but said former Russian president Dmitry Medvedev had openly suggested that after destroying Ukraine, Russia could divide it up between Poland, Slovakia, Hungary, and Romania.

“I heard the Hungarian willingness to stick to this plan during informal talks with government politicians. Orbán hasn’t mentioned it openly,” Jávor said.

The Hungarian politician also explained that Prime Minister Viktor Orbán rejected EU sanctions against Russia on energy, not because Moscow blackmails him, but due to the fact that he wants Budapest to be “voluntarily” dependent on Russia.

“It would be technically possible to reach other oil supplies. We have the Adriatic pipeline from Croatia, also we could import oil from Austria. So, despite Russian oil being currently strategically important, in emergency cases, it could be replaced,” he noted.

Regarding gas, he said the situation is more complex as there are fewer alternative supply routes, and Hungary is 90% dependent on Russian gas.

He admitted that Hungary could connect with Europe’s gas infrastructure, particularly with countries such as Austria, Slovakia, Croatia, Romania, and even Serbia.

“There is the infrastructure potential, but still, there are no agreements and contracts. On the contrary, Hungary signed a long-term 10+5–year contract with Gazprom in the autumn of 2021, just before the full-scale Russian invasion of Ukraine. The Hungarian government is very much committed not to breaking it,” he concluded.