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Hungary – Poland. Historian: Hungarians lose in the eyes of Poles, Polish-Hungarian relations and the war in Ukraine. The historian comments

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Warsaw is critical of the continuous lobbying by the Hungarian government on behalf of several Russians whom European Union countries want to sanction, wrote Hungarian historian and Polish studies scholar Miklos Mitrovits in an article on the G7.hu portal. As he noted, the cooling at the political level between Poland and Hungary is visible, their EU alliance “also seems to be weakening”, and Poles no longer like Hungarians as they have been for the last 30 years.

The Hungarian historian and Polish studies scholar Miklos Mitrovits stated in an article on the G7.hu portal that “the Polish position towards Russia is not only understandable, but also consistent.” “It is the result of a well-thought-out, long-term, pragmatic foreign and security policy, based on historical experience, and its validity has been confirmed by life,” he assessed.

As the author noted, among “serious experts” there is no longer any doubt that the role of Poland after the Russian invasion of Ukraine increased significantly. According to him, the first reason for this phenomenon is the consistent observance of the threat posed by the Kremlin since the Russian-Georgian war in 2008.

“Uniquely in Europe, Poles have an unusually deep understanding of the roots and nature of Russian imperialism,” wrote the historian. Another reason for the increase in Poland’s position is supporting Kiev from the first day of the war. Warsaw is “the main advocate for Ukraine to receive state-of-the-art heavy weapons from countries FOR THIS“.

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Ukraine has been defending itself for over four hundred days PAP/EPA/OLEG PETRASYUK

“For Poland, Ukraine can only be a valuable defensive zone if it is a strong state. A permanently weakened Ukraine, partly under Russian occupation and partly under international protectorate, would mean a Russian victory and buy the Russians time to prepare for further fights,” the author emphasised.

He added that “German Ostpolitik”, whose aim was partnership with Russia, failed and “Polish Ostpolitik” won, which is expressed in “support for the liberation struggles of nations that fell victim to Russian imperialism.”

At the same time, as Mitrovits assessed, the role of Poland as the largest country in the region is strengthened by NATO enlargement in the north to include Finland.

Historian on Polish-Hungarian relations

Due to the security issue coming to the fore in the coming decades and the need to defend against Russia, the author also predicted an important role for the Central European area. In this context, he focuses on Polish-Hungarian relations.

“In Poland, it was believed that in the event of Russian aggression, the Hungarian government and society would stand on the side of the attacked Ukraine as clearly as Poles. This would be the implication of the statement of Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban in 2008, during the Russian-Georgian war, when he was still the leader of the opposition” – noticed Mitrovits.

Viktor OrbánEliot Blondet/Abaca/PAP

The historian reminded that Hungary still maintains close relations with the Kremlin, and Prime Minister Orban has not yet visited Kiev. And although the government in Budapest ultimately supported all the sanctions packages hitherto, it openly criticized them and continues to criticize them.

“Warsaw is critical of the Hungarian government’s continuous lobbying on behalf of several Russians whom EU countries want to sanction,” wrote Mitrovits, recalling the case of Patriarch Kirill. “There was also a great resonance in Poland when the Hungarian foreign minister in Minsk did not come out in defense Andrzej Poczobutan activist of the Polish minority (in Belarus – ed.), who was sentenced to eight years in prison, constantly citing the interests of the Hungarian minority towards Ukraine, which is at war,” he added.

Poland is not satisfied with Hungary’s rejection of the possibility of supplying arms to Ukraine, and above all, with the Hungarian parliament’s delay in accepting Finland’s and Sweden’s applications for NATO membership. Mitrovits also drew attention to Warsaw’s close relations with Washington, which contrasts with the very critical approach of the president’s administration Joe Biden to Hungary.

Parliament building in Budapest Shutterstock

“The Hungarian-Polish alliance in the European Union seems to be weakening”

As Mitrovits pointed out, the cooling at the political level between Poland and Hungary is visible, and “the Hungarian-Polish alliance in the European Union also seems to be weakening.”

“Polish society has the lowest level of sympathy and the highest level of antipathy towards Hungarians in the last thirty years. Compared to the previous year, antipathy towards Hungarians increased by 18 percentage points, and sympathy decreased by 21 percentage points” – reminded the historian.

He added that Poland will become stronger and stronger in the near future. “It is in our interest, not only because of traditional Hungarian-Polish relations, but also for our own security, to see all this from Hungary’s point of view in a positive, or at least not hostile, light,” he concluded.

Main photo source: Shutterstock

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