Prime Minister Viktor Orbán expects Hungarian-American political cooperation to change completely, as a result of Republican Party candidate Donald Trump’s victory in the US presidential election.
Speaking on Kossuth Radio’s “180 Minutes” programme on Friday morning, the Prime Minister said the following: “Hungary has always maintained strong economic and security relations with the United States, but political cooperation with the Democratic Party administration in Washington regularly ran aground, because it lived in an artificial liberal world which was out of touch with reality and which it wanted to force on others – including Hungary. It followed the Democratic Party’s ideological mindset, it wanted to export democracy around the world in accordance with its own understanding of democracy, and it supported global immigration forces”, he said.
In reply to a question referring to the fact that the Democratic administration had “rarely patted the Hungarian government on the back”, and whether he expected any change in this, he replied that he envisages a 180-degree turnaround.
“The world will be a better place with the new American president – there is a serious chance of this”, Mr. Orbán declared, adding that “We have crossed the threshold into a new era”. Brexit was “the knock on the door, but now we have crossed the threshold” and “reality has won”, he said.
With regard to the political path Donald Trump is expected to pursue, the Prime Minister pointed out that the campaign and administration are two different things. “Hungary has an interest in a rational, composed and thoroughly-considered American foreign policy”, he added.
Replying to a comment about the fact that during his campaign Donald Trump said that he does not support the TTIP free trade agreement in its current form, Mr. Orbán said: “Neither do we – so this is something we agree on”.
The Prime Minister noted that European security will also be different in future, and “we will have to put more effort into protecting our own security”, because the newly-elected US president has made it clear that “he isn’t prepared to continue footing the bill to the extent that America has done so far”. Mr. Orbán explained that “It will also benefit us to take security more seriously, instead of seeing it as something which someone else from outside the continent guarantees with a huge American military, and we too must take action to assure European security”.
Talking about developments in US-Russian relations, Mr. Orbán said that he feels it is more difficult than many analysts seem to suggest. He said he thinks that describing the leaders of the world’s major powers as being members of a “testosterone club” is rather shallow. “Today there are difficult issues causing tensions between Russia and the West, but this situation can be improved; it is also in Hungary’s interests that the parties reject the current atmosphere of conflict, and return to the culture of peace and cooperation – but this is not something which can be achieved overnight”, he explained.