ANALYTICS

Kiev-Moscow-Shusha - the Peace Route of Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban

06.07.24 9:36


Hungary will assume the presidency of the EU on July 1, 2024. Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán has begun his country's EU presidency with a series of significant visits outside the EU.

 

First, Viktor Orbán visited the Ukrainian capital, Kyiv, on July 2, 2024, and took the initiative to end the Russian-Ukrainian war. In particular, he suggested that Ukraine declare an immediate ceasefire on the collision line with the Russian army. It would seem that there were other peace initiatives in the works, and to agree on the closure of these initiatives, Viktor Orbán went on a visit to Moscow on July 4, where he held a meeting with Russian leader Vladimir Putin.

 

It is still too early to summarize the results of Viktor Orban's peacekeeping mission. However, there is information that real shadow negotiations between Moscow and Kiev are already underway, and Hungary's mediatory role here is not accidental. Hungary today is not only a "bastion of healthy conservatism" in the EU, but also the closest strategic partner of China in Europe, in particular in the implementation of European projects within the framework of the Chinese initiative "One Belt One Road."

 

We hope that prolonging the Russian-Ukrainian war will not be necessary for Beijing to realize these projects. It seems that Viktor Orbán was making peace initiatives not only based on the position of conservative forces in the EU, but also, most likely, on the position of China.

 

Among the most significant of the Hungarian Prime Minister's first visits as the leader of the EU presidency was his third visit to Azerbaijan. A country that plays a pivotal role in the development of the "One Belt One Road" initiative, particularly for the functioning of the Middle Corridor, the shortest transit route between Asia and Europe. On July 6, 2024, Viktor Orbán will arrive for an informal summit of the Organization of Turkic States (OTS) in the Karabakh city of Shusha, liberated from years of occupation.

 

The summit, organized on behalf of Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev, is attended by presidents and high-ranking leaders from Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Turkey, as well as leaders of the Organization of Turkic States observer countries—Turkmenistan, the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC), and Hungary. The informal TNA summit will address "Building a Sustainable Future through Transport Connectivity and Combating Climate Change." At the summit, the leaders will engage in discussions on ways to enhance the Midland Corridor and other transport links, as well as preparations for the 29th Conference of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP 29), which Azerbaijan will host on November 11-22, 2024.

 

The matters being discussed at the Shusha summit are of great consequence for Hungary and the processes overseen by the country's leadership today. It is not the first time in history that the Hungarian elite has played a role that is much larger than the scale of this Eastern European country and the small Hungarian people who came to Europe in the Middle Ages from the steppes of Eurasia. For a very long time, the Hungarians and their elite played a much bigger role in Europe than their numbers would suggest. It is worth noting that this genetic kinship with Turkic peoples, despite their initial scarcity, has resulted in the creation of vast empires.

 

In due time, the peculiar desire of some Western countries and Russia to "exclude Hungary from European politics" led to unfortunate consequences, including the murder of the heir to the Austro-Hungarian throne and the bloody World War I. This resulted in Hungary losing most of the lands of the so-called "Hungarian Crown." However, a curious phenomenon is emerging: the countries to which these lands belong—Slovakia, Serbia, Slovenia, Croatia, Romania, and Bosnia—are beginning to pursue a coordinated policy, recognizing Hungary's "moral leadership" in some respects. It is also important to recognize that their prospects are not only in the West of Europe (where they continue to be treated as "junior partners") but also in the East, where Hungary has the closest and most constructive cooperation with Turkic states.

 

Hungary, which has experienced the devastation of two world wars, also recognizes the value of peaceful resolution. As such, it is actively engaged in peacemaking efforts, including in the Russian-Ukrainian context.

 

 

George Kvinitadze

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