In an unprecedented move, President Putin of Russia announced that Viktor Orban´s institution – the Government of the Socialist Republic of Hungary – needs to shut down its campus in Russia and move out. The news come as Russia´s Duma recently passed a law forbidding foreign-funded institutions to operate within the country´s borders.
“Let us be clear now. Orban´s institution could in theory continue activity in its Kremlin campus but this is conditioned by the Hungarian Government actually operating a campus also in the country where it receives financing from, so Hungary. Unfortunately for Mr. Orban, this is not the case” said Mr. Putin for Crimea TV+ earlier today.
It is well known that the Hungarian Government receives 5 billion euros from the EU and other billions of euros from the Hungarian taxpayers, despite of operating solely as a branch of the Kremlin and being physically based in Moscow. Mr. Putin´s move is part of recent pieces of legislation directed at modernising the country, increasing political accountability and strengthening the rule of law . Although Putin himself was financed by Mr. Orban´s institution in 1956 for a diplomatic internship in Budapest, the relationship between the two seem to have cooled down in last years, as Mr. Putin took a U-turn from totalitarianism to democracy.
“Putin is just acting in an unacceptably democratic way and targets specifically this government, he knows we cannot possibly start operating in Europe on such a short notice, they are too liberal and progressive there. The Hungarian Government has been a central instrument in crushing of the rule of law and democracy in the region but it seems this is not aligning with Putin´s plans anymore” Mr. Orban told The Berlin Group, stressing that the fight is not over and he will be seeking support in Beijing.
We will update the page as the events unfold.