East or West?

"- And then Putin revealed what his goal was: go back to the past and revive the Eastern bloc with the assistance of Orbán and the likes.

- After some minutes of back and forth, Russia’s president had German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and French President Emmanuel Macron know what he wanted to achieve by the buildup of Russian forces along the Ukraine border: NATO’s withdrawal from the post-Socialist countries, stopping Ukraine’s armament and a written guarantee that NATO would refrain from military intervention in case of a potential Russian military intervention.

- Putin helpfully explained that he did not consider Ukraine an independent country as it is a part of Russia while the Ukrainian people are descendants of Russians.

Yes. Putin’s angle is to rebuild the Russian sphere of interest, which is equivalent to devouring the post-Soviet region as well as keeping the EU’s eastern periphery on a short leash. This, of course, could not happen if he had no partners to help him. But he does.

He can rely on the western politicians who talk about the “two-speed Europe” and say they are fed up with the thefts of the Orbán-like mini-Putins, so it’s time to leave them by the roadside and cut the EU into two.

The rich western half will keep the money and the welfare, and go on its own path. The eastern leaders will have no more money, but they can keep building their authoritarian regimes. And if Russia wants to take them, so be it.

Orbán and his friends are of course happy to hear this, because they care about nothing but staying in power. Keeping their people in misery is not too high a price for them, and if someone expresses discontent, they will shut them up like Comrade Lukashenka does. Their new Lord Putin will certainly not hold them accountable for some pesky rule of law norms.

We Hungarians don’t want others to decide our fate again. We don’t want to be second- and third-class Europeans and we don’t want to live in a quality-reduced Europe! Hungary’s place is in the democratic European welfare union, and not next to the Asian dictatorships, being impoverished.

Next April, we will send a message to the world: if Orbán wins, we’ll give free rein to Putin and the western politicians who gave up on us. If the opposition wins, everyone will clearly see that the Hungarian people want to stay in Europe.

East or West? That is the question we need to answer." - Péter Jakab, the president of Jobbik