The U.S. government has already taken the highly unusual step of blacklisting six people with ties to the government in Hungary, a NATO ally and European Union member, from entering the United States, accusing them of involvement in corruption.
Highly unusual? The US blacklisting people is pretty much the norm.
U.S. officials say that demarche was the result of growing exasperation with Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban, who has pushed judges into retirement, imposed heavy levies on foreign banks, and this week sparked huge protests with a proposal to tax Internet use.The only exception to the above nonsensical excuses is the levies on foreign banks
But Washington is particularly preoccupied about a growing closeness between Hungary and the Kremlin over energy that could undermine Western attempts to isolate Russian leader Vladimir Putin over his intervention in Ukraine.The real crux of the issue highlighted. Hungary "could undermine" the dictates of the US
Since September, Hungary has stopped pumping natural gas to Ukraine, effectively pulling out of an EU-backed effort to support Kiev in the face of a Russian energy blockade, and it has renewed a commitment to build a Kremlin-backed pipeline for Russian gas, South Stream, that Washington and Brussels oppose.In other words Hungry doesn't want to bear the costs & crush their economy to comply with the dictates of the US. Unlike cowardly France and Germany?
U.S. officials are now worried that Hungarian energy firm MOL will sell its 49 percent stake in INA, Croatia's biggest energy company, to a Russian firm, possibly state-owned Gazprom. The Hungarian state has a 24.7 percent stake in MOL
Western diplomats in the region have confirmed the United States is worried about a possible sale to Gazprom, a firm they describe as a tool of Kremlin policy.
A Gazprom takeover would give the Russian company a strategic foothold inside the European Union, which is already its biggest customer for natural gas.
Orban has clashed repeatedly with Brussels over his policies and has for several years been pursuing what he calls an "eastern opening": a drive to build closer ties with Russia and countries in Asia.Seems that Orban is being sensible?
In a speech earlier this year, Orban said he wanted to build an "illiberal state" that would still have freedoms but would put national values above Western-style liberal ideology.Western style "liberal ideology" is of course, neo-liberalism
But Hungary shut its supplies to Ukraine down in September, just three days after a visit to Budapest by Gazprom chief executive Alexei Miller, who was received by Orban.
At the time, Hungary was looking to increase gas imports so it could fill up its storage reservoirs before winter. Two days after it cut off shipments to Ukraine, the volume of Russian gas reaching Hungary shot up to 24.44 million cubic metres per day, according to data from Hungarian pipeline operator FGSZ, a 56 percent increase over the day Miller and Orban met.
Hungary's actions differed from those of its neighbour Slovakia, which kept up deliveries to Ukraine despite having its own supplies reduced.If Slovakia is stupid enough to cut off it's nose to spite it's face, so be it!At least the Hungarian leader won't let his people freeze this winter
Maybe the Hungarians are letting their inner Hun shine through?