All of these moves are very important since they show that it’s indeed possible for a country to practice principled neutrality even if they’re located smack dab in the heart of the US’ liberal-globalist ‘sphere of influence’. Orban is bravely defying the declining unipolar hegemon and its regional proxies to continue pioneering his vision of multipolarity in Europe, which has recently become the most difficult place in the world in which to practice such policies.
The Central European country of Hungary is indisputably the multipolar capital of Europe due to its consistent policy of principled neutrality with respect to Russia, which was proudly practiced even prior to the onset of Moscow’s ongoing special military operation in Ukraine. Newly re-elected Prime Minister Orban is doubling down on its multipolar path after having his Foreign Ministry summon the Ukrainian Ambassador to scold him for Kiev’s latest spree of insults against this conservative-nationalist leader.
He earlier condemned Ukrainian President Zelensky for attempting to meddle in Sunday’s elections by misportraying him as President Putin’s stooge, equating that ethno-fascist leader to Hungary’s other opponents such as Brussels bureaucrats and even the Soros empire. Bucking the US-led Western pressure campaign against Moscow, Budapest said that it’ll consider complying with the Kremlin’s request to pay for gas with rubles and also proposed holding a Ukrainian peace summit too.
All of these moves are very important since they show that it’s indeed possible for a country to practice principled neutrality even if they’re located smack dab in the heart of the US’ liberal-globalist “sphere of influence”. Unlike the faux conservative-nationalists in Poland who sacrificed their ideological principles for purely self-interested reasons connected to the ruling party’s desperate bid to remain in power after the fall 2023 elections, Hungary remains committed to its sincerely pro-sovereignty policies.
Orban is bravely defying the declining unipolar hegemon and its regional proxies to continue pioneering his vision of multipolarity in Europe, which has recently become the most difficult place in the world in which to practice such policies. His peace summit proposal will confirm his country’s growing importance in the ongoing global system transition if it comes to pass, which is indeed possible considering the fact that its Turkish competitor’s principled neutrality is comparatively more imperfect.
To explain, Ankara also hopes to host such a summit but that Great Power continues arming Kiev with weapons that are used to kill members of the Russian Armed Forces (RAF). Budapest, but contrast, has refused to arm its neighbor, which is certainly appreciated by Moscow. Of course, the prospects of Orban’s peace summit proposal largely depend on the willingness of European states to participate, which remains to be seen since them doing so would grant credence to his multipolar policies.
Nevertheless, the US-led West already tacitly acknowledges that it failed to overthrow Orban after all these years of trying and especially after the latest elections that the ruling party just won with a landslide so they might actually end up going along with his proposal at the end of the day. That’s because for all the criticisms that can be level against Turkey’s imperfect policy of principled neutrality, that Great Power’s continued cooperation with Russia is more game-changing than Hungary’s.
After all, Hungary is a landlocked European country that has no chance whatsoever of restoring its lost Great Power status while Turkey is already a Great Power with tri-continental multipolar ambitions across Afro-Eurasia. Despite sometimes competing with Russia in this space, Presidents Putin and Erdogan have responsibly managed to regulate their geopolitical rivalry in recent years, the end effect of which threatens to accelerate the US’ declining unipolar hegemony
Hungary’s multipolarity, meanwhile, is pretty much only relevant with respect to advancing its pro-sovereignty policies at home and can’t really change much in terms of the New Cold War’s grand strategic dynamics despite being very symbolic. That’s not to downplay the importance of Orban’s policies, but just to put them into their proper perspective to help explain to the reader why the US-led West might prefer to hold a Ukrainian peace summit in Budapest instead of somewhere in Turkey.
The emerging scenario is that America is coming to accept Hungary’s multipolar path despite of course intensely disliking it and wishing instead that this country reverted back to its prior government’s status as a liberal-globalist vassal state. Budapest will therefore likely remain somewhat “problematic” for this civilizational sphere in terms of challenging Washington’s unipolar hegemonic interests there but it probably won’t change much when it comes to the bigger picture. Even so, it’s still very impressive.