Elections in Hungary and Serbia: Two pawns ahead of Putin

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Conservative, reactionary and extremist is much more than pacifism, which is clearly expressed in the electoral victories of Viktor Orban in Hungary and Aleksandar Vucic in Serbia in the two general elections held last Sunday. It is a light breath of oxygen for Vladimir Putin, who has so far been defeated in the battles on Ukrainian territory and in the horrific international image that his regime has provided with the barbarism of its troops on the outskirts of Kyiv.

Two conservative, authoritarian and anti-European rulers have won the election, who control the media, expel the opposition from public debate and hide their sympathy for Vladimir Putin, though neither of them are guilty of criminal practices. Doesn’t come close. The Kremlin and the risk to which they still maintain an electoral system that could give way to alternatives on paper.

Orban and Vucic have, in fact, won an undisputed electoral victory with an opportunistic strategy in line with a nationalist and populist program and ideas. Putinist On the international system in comparison to the values, institutions and methods of multilateral cooperation that characterize the European Union. The contrast of the two elections is the effect that the war has produced in these countries: instead of controlling polarized political life and grouping citizens around the government, as is the case in many countries, it allowed the inclusion of the most conservative voters. The fear of being is reduced. With the state of war identified conflict and solidarity with Ukraine.

In addition to security, interest counts as well. Both Central European countries are the most dependent on Russian gas and both have received guarantees from Putin in the days before the invasion regarding supplies and prices, which have been imposed on countries that openly support Ukraine against the invasion. We do. Although the Kremlin bought Orban and Vucic for their purpose, the coincidence is ideological in their ultra-Orthodox positions as well. In Orban’s case, the celebration of a referendum on a law vetoing LGBT material in school education identifies with Putin’s extreme ideology. In Vucic’s case, the Russian veto in the Security Council has been of particular importance in the face of the prospect of recognition of the sovereignty of Kosovo, still claimed by Serbia as part of the national territory.

On the other hand, the weight of history is uneven. Hungary, unlike Serbia, has never been pro-Russian and knows very well what Ukraine is now suffering from. He is particularly well known for Viktor Orbán, who entered politics in 1956 justifying the Hungarians rising against Soviet tanks and the democratic and pro-Western regime of Prime Minister Imre Nagy executed by Moscow. Defended, but has so far abandoned liberal views. With his fourth presidential term, Putin became the closest thing to an autocrat, from whom he is still separated, fortunately, because of the bloody repression of the opposition and his war of invasions.

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