(CNN) – Weeks later Without being able to divide Europe Due to the war in Ukraine, Vladimir Putin suffered two minor diplomatic victories this weekend.
In both Hungary and Serbia, apparently pro-Russian parties won a comfortable victory in the legislative elections, a welcome reminder to Putin that despite the strong and often united response of the international community against the invasion, he Some friends In the west.
The most important victory came when Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban and his nationalist party, Fitzgerald, won. Great success. Hungary is a member of both the European Union and NATO.
On Sunday night, during his victory speech, Orban slammed not only the EU but also Ukraine.
“We have such a great victory, maybe you can see it from the moon, but of course you can see it from Brussels,” Fidesz said. “Fides will remember this victory until the end of our lives. The list of protesters includes the Brussels bureaucracy, the international media and, deliberately, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zhelensky.
Zelensky has directly criticized Arban for not supporting Ukraine like many European presidents in recent weeks.
Putin immediately congratulated Arban on his victory. But some believe it will be more than a symbolic victory and will have little effect on the EU’s decision on Ukraine.
The truth is, Orban was expected to win and the political community has been operating around his leadership for years. Despite initially postponing his decision, Urban agreed to EU sanctions against Russia and was largely in line with other Western alliances. The main obstacle for Hungary in supporting Ukraine was Orban’s reluctance to allow weapons to pass through his country in support of Ukrainian troops.
Hungary has been a major stumbling block in EU talks on banning energy imports from Russia. Following reports of war crimes in Ukraine, Germany said over the weekend that it should discuss a ban on Russian gas, following a move that Orban has repeatedly rejected.
Hungary’s stubbornness has angered its main ally, Poland, who has used his veto powers to protect Arban from EU punishment on several occasions in recent years. It is unclear whether Poland will do so after the war.
Hungary is far removed from EU values of the rule of law and human rights, oppresses cultural institutions and suppresses press freedom.
Most attempts to punish Hungary at the EU level have failed because meaningful action would require consensus by a vote of all EU member states.
Poland and Hungary made effective use of their EU veto to protect each other and reached an agreement on something late. However, it is arguably the largest anti-Russian hawk in Polish political community, and it is not yet clear how this will affect the Polish-Hungarian axis once the war is over.
Since the beginning of the war, EU officials have been quietly talking about offering Polish incentives to get closer to other regions, rather than treating Poland and Hungary as two criminals.
The situation in Serbia is very different because it is not a member of the European Union or NATO. It is currently in the process of joining the political community and is expected to conclude negotiations within the next two years.
Serbian President Alexander Vuிக்i is in a difficult position due to the Russian invasion of Ukraine. For years, he sought to balance strong diplomatic and economic ties with Russia (and a particular preference over Putin) with Western warmth.
During the election campaign, Vučić did not deviate from this balance and ran on the platform of peace and stability in the region, Reuters reported.
Serbia is almost entirely dependent on Russian gas, while its military maintains relations with the Russian military. Although Serbia has supported two UN resolutions condemning Russia’s occupation of Ukraine, it has refused to impose sanctions on Moscow, Reuters reports.
The Kremlin also supports Belgrade’s opposition to Kosovo’s independence by blocking its membership in the United Nations.
The results of the weekend election – especially in Hungary – will no doubt have put Putin on a pedestal and leaders in Brussels have raised their hands. However, for the EU, more organism actually means more of the same. This could give Putin some campaign victories and hamper the EU’s broader plans for the future. But the political community has been looking for ways to work closely with Orban for years, and when the time comes, they will realize that being happy within the Orban club is more of a problem than planning to leave.