It was possible for Prime Minister Viktor Orbán to pursue a productive dialogue with Russian President Vladimir Putin even as a Western ally. Based on this pragmatic summit meeting, it was reconfirmed that the Hungarian Prime Minister is not attempting to pursue shuttlecock diplomacy as a member of the Western alliance, but instead, he is following the principles of realpolitik without ignoring the values and interests of NATO and the EU.
The expiration of the long-term natural gas contract, Hungarian and regional energy security, as well as the necessity to foster economic relations in the midst of a tense global political backdrop have not permitted the Hungarian government to defer this summit any longer. Despite any opposite impression, Hungarian foreign policy cannot be regarded as maverick in its nature. The Prime Minister has reiterated his committment to the Western alliance by unequivocally accepting the cease fire signed in Minsk last week in order to to stabilize the Ukrainian situation, despite the special concerns we have with respect to the subcarpathian Hungarian community and our unilateral energy dependency on Russia. Viktor Orbán, similarly to German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President François Hollande, surmised that in order to sustain long-term peace and stability, one can achieve these goals strictly by maintaining a dialogue with President Putin.
As a result of this summit, the Hungarian Prime Minister can in no way be accused of “one-side Russian favoritism”, since Viktor Orbán also paid a visit to Kiev on Friday and Serbia on Monday. On the domestic scene, the opposition can hardly conjecture a political scandal with any credibility out of this visit, since the summit was preceded by a unique conciliation and information exchange between parliamentary faction leaders and the Prime Minister during the weekend, briefing all participants, compared to which the summit has not brought any major change of direction.