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Why Hungary and Russia’s relationship could stop the war in Ukraine

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In many European countries, a politician’s ties with Russia might mean the end of a political career, but not in Hungary

Hungary’s nationalist Prime Minister, Viktor Orbán, has won a fourth term in the Hungary election, becoming the longest-serving Prime Minister in Europe.

The Hungarian Prime Minister has long been criticised for his friendly ties to Russian President, Vladimir Putin, and Hungary’s reliance on Russia’s energy supplies.

Now, Prime Minister Orbán has spoken to Putin, urging him to end the war in Ukraine. 

Vladimir Putin. / Image: File

Hungary’s ties with Russia

Hungary has a strong dependency on Russia for petrol, gas and other economic ties with the largest country in the world.

Hungarian politician Balázs Orbán says that Hungary must do everything in their power to stop the Russia Ukraine war and that peace is needed as soon as possible.

“I think we can use every contact and relationship we have, like the Hungarian Prime Minister’s earlier contacts with the Russian president to try and help bring about a ceasefire,” he tells Ticker News.

Is Hungary doing enough to stop this war?

Orbán says all Hungary’s moves are in line with the NATO and EU’s decisions.

“We’re doing as much as we can … we’re in a position of strength and authority in Hungary.”

he says.

“Viktor Orbán has just won a landslide victory at the elections … the support of the Hungarian people is a reinforcement of good policies of a stable, calm governance, which is very much needed at this time of war.”

Ukrainian soldiers are pictured on their military vehicle, amid Russia’s invasion on Ukraine in Bucha, in Kyiv region, Ukraine April 2, 2022. REUTERS/Zohra Bensemra

Should the European Union move away from being dependant on Russian energy?

While Balázs Orbán says that this would hurt Russia’s economy, he claims this would be “wishful thinking” as introducing these sanctions would hurt the EU more than they would hurt Russia.

“If we shut down entire economies in Europe because of a sudden lack of gas, for instance, if we left millions of people without heating … then we would do a disservice to ourselves.”

he says.

“So realism has to be maintained, diplomatic pressure must be maintained. And any humanitarian aid is obviously very important.”

What do you think will stop Putin?

Orbán says economic sanctions and international media reporting have an influence in stopping Putin.

“This is also a war which shows the power of communication, the power of images, the power of information, as it is spread, and that has an influence on public opinion everywhere, including Russia.”

he says.

Russia is the largest country in the world, it’s a nuclear power and whether we like it or not, whether we agree with it or not, it’s there, it’s going to remain there. So we need to find a settlement that takes into account its existence.”

Savannah Pocock contributed to this article.

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How close to a full scale nuclear war are we really?

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Since President Vladimir Putin’s latest warning that he is ready to use nuclear weapons to defend Russia, the question of whether or not the former KGB spy is bluffing has become much more urgent.

There are several reasons why Putin’s nuclear warnings have the West worried. First, Russia has been increasingly aggressive in its actions in recent years, from annexing Crimea to intervening in Syria. This has led to a feeling that Putin is becoming more and more reckless and unpredictable.

Second, Russia has been beefing up its nuclear arsenal, with reports indicating that it now has more nuclear warheads than any other country in the world. This increase in firepower makes Putin’s threats all the more credible.

Last but not least, there is the fact that Putin is a former KGB agent. This means that he is no stranger to playing games of brinkmanship and bluffing. In the past, he has used nuclear threats as a way to get what he wants. For example, in 2008, he threatened to aim nuclear missiles at European cities unless the United States agreed to drop plans for a missile defense system in Eastern Europe.

The West is worried

Given all of this, it’s no wonder that Putin’s latest nuclear threats have the West worried. Only Putin knows if he is actually bluffing, but given his track record, it’s certainly a possibility.

If a nuclear weapon were used in Ukraine, it would cause a massive humanitarian crisis. Tens of thousands of people would be killed or wounded, and millions more would be displaced. The economic and social damage would be enormous, and Europe would be plunged into chaos.

In addition, the use of nuclear weapons would also have devastating consequences for the rest of the world. The nuclear non-proliferation regime would be dealt a serious blow, and there would be a renewed risk of nuclear war.

The world would become a much more dangerous place.

Nuclear impact

A nuclear explosion in Ukraine would have a regional impact, but it could also have global consequences. The use of nuclear weapons would violate the nuclear non-proliferation regime, and this could lead to other countries acquiring nuclear weapons. In addition, the risk of nuclear war would increase, and this would have a negative impact on the entire world.

The UN has condemned Russia’s threats of nuclear war, and it has called on all parties to refrain from any actions that could lead to the use of nuclear weapons. The UN Secretary-General has said that there can be no military solution to the crisis in Ukraine, and he has urged all sides to return to the negotiating table.

Russia has several allies in its war against Ukraine. These include Belarus, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, and Kyrgyzstan. Russia also has the support of China and Iran.

The war in Ukraine has had a significant impact on energy prices.

Due to the conflict, there has been a disruption in the supply of natural gas and oil from Ukraine. This has led to an increase in prices for these commodities.

The West can only threaten Putin further, as they’ve done all year, since President Biden warned that Russia was about to invade Ukraine.

Every step of the way, Putin has done exactly what the West has feared.

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Does Donald Trump stand a chance against Joe Biden?

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As Americans prepare to head to the polls, Democrats and Republicans may be tied for control of Congress

The U.S. is preparing for the all-important midterm elections in a matter of months.

For President Joe Biden, it could be a stark warning that his leadership is on thin ice, or it could be the validation he needs ahead of the 2024 presidential election.

There will be 435 seats in the House of Representatives, and 35 of the 100 seats in the Senate up for contention this November.

But as President Biden prepares to ride the campaign wave, it’s the so-called “MAGA Republicans”, which are drawing attention.

“We have to be stronger and more determined and more committed to saving American democracy, than the MAGA Republicans and that guy destroying democracy.”

U.S. PRESIDENT JOE BIDEN

The majority of Americans believe political violence will increase across the country. According to the same polling from CBS, U.S. voters think the nation will become less democratic for future generations.

Kim Hoggard is a former U.S. government official, who served in the Bush and Reagan Administrations, she said the current political climate is proving a challenge for leaders to connect with voters.

“I wonder how it is that in this period in American political history where divisiveness is so wide and so dangerous, how it could be that a president can achieve high approval ratings anymore.”

In fact, around six in 10 Americans (57%) disapprove of Biden’s performance, according to recent Ipsos polling from Reuters.

U.S. President Joe Biden speaks about the “soul of the nation” in a recent address.

The president’s dwindling ratings have been characterised by some factors out of his control—the pandemic, rising inflation, cost of living, and the war in Ukraine.

But there is one foreign policy outcome, which could be the reason for his falling support, according to Stephan Loosley from the U.S. Studies Centre.

“There’s no question that an enormous hole was punched in the Biden White House with the fiasco, the calamity of the Afghanistan withdrawal, which was badly mishandled.”

However, when it comes to the war in Ukraine, Loosley said Russian President Vladimir Putin misread the strength of U.S. intelligence, and Biden’s hold on his NATO allies.

“The President’s mobilisation of NATO in the face of the illegal Russia incursion of Ukraine has been extraordinary,” he said.

In light of this, President Biden has still managed a strong legislative agenda. This includes climate change action, healthcare reform, military aid for Ukraine, and infrastructure commitments.

Is this enough to sink Biden’s ship?

The U.S. midterm elections are scheduled for November, and with a general election on the cards for 2024, there is much discussion about the rise of former President Donald Trump.

On the other hand, Biden can’t seem to let the former president out of his mind. In fact, he recently spoke about the rise of Make America Great Again (MAGA) Republicans during a nationwide address.

“There’s no democracy where you can be pro-insurrection and pro-democracy,” he said.

The president’s approval ratings are also yet to reach the record low levels of President Trump, which sunk to 33 per cent at the end of 2017.

As it stands, the Democrats have 221 seats in the House of Representatives, and 48 members in the senate.

“The probability of the Democrats losing control of the house is very real. That’s been the history of American midterms since Harry Truman,” Loosley said.

“It’s just possible the Democrats may hold onto control of the Senate. A lot of that has to do with the ‘MAGA Republican’ candidates… those who are endorsed by the former president.”

STEPHEN LOOSLEY, U.S. STUDIES CENTRE

Of course, Trump hasn’t been without his own worries—the fallout from the Capitol riots, raids at his Mar-a-Lago estate, a lawsuit against his company, and a criminal investigation in Georgia.

Kim Hoggard, who is a former White House Assistant Press Secretary, said these events show Trump is unfit for office.

“The mishandling of sensitive information and top secret intelligence information show what a dangerous person he would be if he were to regain the presidency,” she said.

He may be considered dangerous but nearly one in five (19%) of Americans identify as ‘MAGA Republicans’. This is hardly going to be a blip on Joe Biden’s radar.

“There’s no question that Mitch McConnell is determined that Trump will bear any responsibility for Republican losses in the midterms,” Stephen Loosley from the U.S. Studies Centre said.

Mitch McConnell is the Minority Leader in the Senate and he believes the House of Representatives will flip this November.

“You have all these investigations, inquiries, and probes running simultaneously, it’s got to divert and distract the Republican Party and it’s got to damage some Republican candidates’ races,” Loosley said.

In terms of Trump’s 2024 possibilities, Kim Hoggard said the criminal investigations and lawsuits “are going to significantly affect his [Trump’s] ability to be a viable candidate”.

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The monarchy fights for survival without the Queen

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Queen Elizabeth II was notably one of the most respected figures in the world, and now the monarchy fights for survival

Queen Elizabeth II was the most private, public figure. Her Majesty was a constant thread in millions of lives. A symbol of continuity for seven decades.

Undoubtedly, the Queen’s global impact will be hard to match.

As her reign fuelled widespread revolution that altered the very landscape of the nation.

Politically, culturally and technologically, the Queen’s leadership was unwavering, and her wish was for this lead to stand the test of time.

History shows, the royal family is not immune from life’s challenges and controversies.

But through turbulent times, the Queens poise, strength and class always prevailed.

Above everything else, she was a constant. The ever-reliable presence holding the royal family together.

Contributor Cei Dewar, was lucky enough to meet the Queen and says millions around the world are mourning her loss, and everything she represents.

“She was a unifying force in the UK, the Commonwealth and across the world…even in her death…Her legacy and her legend with live on for eternity… in the hearts and minds of every life she touched in such a significant way.”

Cei dewar – CONTRIBUTOR
Cei Dewar- contributor

Monarchy fights for survival

As the world waves goodbye to Her Majesty, the monarchy fights for survival, finding its way forward without Queen Elizabeth II.

King Charles III is at the reigns, inheriting the lead on what the royal family becomes.

The King is taking the reign on a very different world.

Cei Dewar- Contributor

He will be exposed to public scrutiny like never before, the internet phenomenon, and a world where Republicans are on the rise. 

However, His Majesty has expressed his determination to focus on diversity, climate change action and maintain the institutions relevance on the global diplomatic stage. 

King Charles’ tumultuous personal life was often the downfall of his popularity, but now, he has pledged his life to serve as King.

Charles’ reputation slipped after the death of Diana, and ever since he has worked to build his popularity. 

But solidarity within his own family will be the key driver of success.

Notably, Prince William and Harry have already showed their reconciled solidarity. Standing side by side, reunited in grief.

Their relationship will be paramount to conserving the monarchy. 

While the future of the monarchy hangs in the balance, it will be difficult for King Charles the III to fill the shoes of his late mother. As well as connect with the national psyche and be a reassuring presence. 

Most people don’t know a world without Queen Elizabeth II, and although saying goodbye is heartbreaking, a new reign now begins. 

Perhaps, the rise of Charles to the throne will be the injection of change the royal family needs to last beyond the 21st century. 

A big job lies ahead. For now, the world has his pledge and actions will speak for themselves. 

Charles the King, a role he has been waiting for his entire life. 

Photo credit: Harper’s Bazaar

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