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Katalin Novak, Hungary's new president. Photo: MTI

Two EU elections highlight sympathy for President Putin

Hungary’s parliament elected pro-Russian Katalin Novak as president of the republic of Hungary. She will be the first female president of Hungary to take the presidential oath of office and will become the sixth Hungarian president on May 10. Serbia's election also saw a landslide win for incumbent pro-Russian President Aleksandar Vucic.

Published: April 4, 2022, 1:12 pm

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    Katalin Novak, the former minister without portfolio responsible for youth and family affairs, won a resounding victory with 137 votes out of 188 valid votes. Economist Peter Rona, the opposition’s candidate, received only 51 votes. Altogether 195 deputies had cast their votes.

    Novak, a member of the victorious Fidesz party, has pledged to promote peace amid an election overshadowed by the conflict in Ukraine.

    Fighting Zelensky too

    Viktor Orban will be serving a fourth term as prime minister. Orban’s victory defied fake polls and reports from Bloomberg News that had predicted that the Hungarian leader would face his toughest challenge to re-election in his 12 years in power.

    Orban, in his party’s victory speech, called Ukraine’s President Vladimir Zelensky one of the “opponents” he had to face during the campaign.

    “We have such a victory, it can be seen from the Moon, but it’s sure that it can be seen from Brussels,” Orban told the media on Sunday. “We will remember this victory until the end of our lives because we had to fight against a huge number of opponents.” The opponents included not only domestic political foes but “Brussels bureaucrats, the Soros empire – with all its money – the international mainstream media, and in the end, even the Ukrainian president. We never had so many opponents at the same time.”

    The prime minister, the EU’s longest-serving premier, said before the vote that the Hungarian left posed a serious threat to peace, while Fidesz was the only guarantee of not going to war. “I’ve never seen anything like this,” he added. He explained that NATO should not be sending weapons and soldiers to the conflict in Ukraine. “Our position is the majority position at present, and therefore NATO decided not to take part in this military conflict: it will not send soldiers, it will not send weapons.”

    Evidently, Anglo-American countries and allies would like NATO to become involved in this conflict as much as possible, he said.

    According to Orban, if the Left had won the elections, weapons shipments to Ukraine would start immediately, all deadly weapons would be allowed through the territory of Hungary, and all weapons not currently used by Hungary that are fit for use in an armed conflict would be placed at Ukraine’s disposal with immediate effect.

    The victory of Fidesz however means that Hungary’s access to billions of euros of crucial EU funding will remain blocked by Brussels as a punishment. Orban said he observed that Hungary was accused of being friendly with the Russians, but it was completely evident that Germany had built much closer relations with Moscow, and many French companies had not left Russia despite the war.

    Serbia will not abandon Russia

    In Serbia, President and presidential candidate Aleksandar Vucic also surprised Western pundits with his decisive victory in Sunday’s presidential election.

    Vucic’s victory with nearly 60 percent of the vote, was even better than his 2017 election result. He also ran for a second five-year term on a promise of peace. Pressure from Anglo-American governments to abandon Serbia’s traditional ties with Moscow came to naught.

    Vucic said the conflict in Ukraine affected the campaign: “The influence of the Ukrainian crisis on the election results was huge,” he admitted. “We will maintain policy that is important for the Europeans, Russians and Americans, and that is … military neutrality,” he said, adding: “Serbia will try to preserve friendly and partnership relations in many areas with the Russian Federation.”

    Moscow has supported Belgrade’s opposition to the independence of Kosovo by blocking its membership to the United Nations. Furthermore, Serbia is almost entirely dependent on Russian gas and it has refused to impose sanctions against Moscow.

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