Statement of the former anti-communist Democratic Opposition on the Russian military threat against Ukraine

We call on the Hungarian government that until now has been seeking its own political and economic benefits and has tried to adjust its policies in line with Russian interests to take an unequivocal stand on the side of its allies and give up its hitherto shameful behavior. We call on the government to behave as a member state of the European Union committed to transatlantic ties and as a member of NATO.

While no one is threatening the physical wellbeing, rights or property of Ukraine’s Russian minority, the Kremlin, making allusions to the defense of the Russian minority, is preparing to attack a neighboring country, threatening its territorial integrity, prompting the danger of war. Events of the last few months had no ethnic components. The demonstrators demanded only politically and economically fair governance. At the same time it is true that they rejected the introduction of the kind of oligarchic and authoritarian system that has developed under the leadership of Vladimir Putin.

An imminent Russian military intervention is unacceptable because:

1. In violation of international law it attacks a sovereign state.

2.This attack will take place after the Kiev street battles died down and with international assistance social peace was achieved.

3. In addition, intervention might cause ethnic conflicts the consequences of which will most likely have to be endured mainly by the Russian minority in Ukraine.

For all these Moscow and President Vladimir Putin personally are responsible.

The legitimate government of Ukraine and the legitimately elected interim leaders remain at the helm and are trying to manage the crisis caused by Moscow’s political pressure and the treachery brought about by Viktor Yanukovich, who turned out to be a willing instrument of the Kremlin. Russia is planning to turn against Ukraine with the same aggressiveness as its predecessor, the Soviet Union, did in 1956 during the Hungarian revolution or in 1968 when it and its minions ran down Czechoslovakia. The pretext then was protection of the social order; today it is assistance to the Russian minority. But behind both only naked Russian imperial interests are at work.

European governments and institutions must use their influence to bring about the immediate withdrawal of the Russian military units.

Budapest, March 1, 2014

Attila Ara-Kovács, former diplomat
György Dalos, writer
Gábor Demsky, former lord mayor of Budapest
Róza Hodosán, former member of parliament
Gábor Iványi, Methodist minister
János Kenedi, historian
György Konrád, writer
Bálint Magyar, former minister of education and culture
Imre Mécs, former member of parliament
László Rajk, architect
Sándor Radnóti, philosopher
Sándor Szilágyi, art writer

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HiBoM
Guest

A good and well principled statement. But why is it being reproduced on this blog without comment? Doesn’t it inadvertently create the impression that Hungarian Spectrum is actually less than independent?

Péter Fábri
Guest

I like your statement above, Ms. Balogh, thank you.

Gab
Guest

Ludicrous! So the Western-backed coup was not an act of imperialism? European and American imperialism are fine, but Russian is not? The people brought to power in the Ukraine are not representatives of the people, and they intend to carry on massive budget cuts and economic reforms that will affect mainly the poor. They intend to solicit loans from the IMF that will cripple their economy for many years. It is not in the interest of the Ukraine to completely dismiss its ties with Russia, and the people of the country will suffer for the decisions an illegitimate power in Kiev will try to adopt.

This conflict was instigated from the start by both the EU and the US, and as a some kind of confrontation with Russia seems inevitable, I find it completely inappropriate to pretend to represent the people of Hungary with a statement that sides them with extremists and murderers, like the groups of armed thugs directed by Svoboda and Right Sector. I can’t believe that most people in this country would want anything similar for Hungary, and I think it’s disgusting to accept or desire that for the people of Ukraine.

petofi
Guest

You’re a card, Gab.
So the loans of the IMF at 4% are the worst, yes?
Better by far that Orban send out government paper paying 7/8%?
How is your math, Gab?
Get a grip on yourself and try to free your mind from the post-Soviet misinformation that
litters the globe.

Mr. Paul
Guest

I don’t find anything wrong with Éva quoting this statement, we can discuss it in the comments, just fine.

What I find odd is how the ten signatories call themselves the “democratic opposition”. When I first read that I exepected to read Mesterházy, Bajnai, Fodor, Jávor and other opposition party leaders as the source of the statement.

It turns out, they are just 10 SZDSZ guys. None of them currently the leader of any party. If they were to call themselves “10 SZDSZ members/leaders/supporters” (whichever applies) it could have sounded a lot less arrogant and also more accurate.

Mr. Paul
Guest

From the statement:

“Events of the last few months had no ethnic components.”

I’m curious if Éva agrees with this, considering the first actions of the new Ukraine power structure were aimed clearly against ethnic minorities. First they changed the constitution to a version which massively reduces the rights of regions and kills off their autonomy. Then creating a language law that bans the use of Russian language in an official capacity everywhere including in areas with 90% Russian speakers. (now that the ethnic Russians are openly revolting against the Kiev centrum in Harkov, Donyeck and other cities as well, they promised to undo this law but it was the first thing they wanted to pass).

Member
Gab : Ludicrous! So the Western-backed coup was not an act of imperialism? European and American imperialism are fine, but Russian is not? The people brought to power in the Ukraine are not representatives of the people, and they intend to carry on massive budget cuts and economic reforms that will affect mainly the poor. They intend to solicit loans from the IMF that will cripple their economy for many years. It is not in the interest of the Ukraine to completely dismiss its ties with Russia, and the people of the country will suffer for the decisions an illegitimate power in Kiev will try to adopt. This conflict was instigated from the start by both the EU and the US, and as a some kind of confrontation with Russia seems inevitable, I find it completely inappropriate to pretend to represent the people of Hungary with a statement that sides them with extremists and murderers, like the groups of armed thugs directed by Svoboda and Right Sector. I can’t believe that most people in this country would want anything similar for Hungary, and I think it’s disgusting to accept or desire that for the people of Ukraine. So you are… Read more »
Minusio
Guest

I fully agree with this declaration and with it’s being published here. HiBoM and Gab apparently haven’t followed the news.

BTW, under international law, armed combatants in unmarked uniforms are regarded as partisans and can be shot on the spot.

The problem is that Putin is playing Russian roulette and doesn’t give a hoot about what the rest of the world thinks and does. For the West, another military conflict is not an option. For Putin it is. In addition he can easily turn off the natural-gas flow to the Ukraine – and to his new comrade in arms, Orbán.

Member
Mr. Paul : From the statement: “Events of the last few months had no ethnic components.” I’m curious if Éva agrees with this, considering the first actions of the new Ukraine power structure were aimed clearly against ethnic minorities. First they changed the constitution to a version which massively reduces the rights of regions and kills off their autonomy. Then creating a language law that bans the use of Russian language in an official capacity everywhere including in areas with 90% Russian speakers. (now that the ethnic Russians are openly revolting against the Kiev centrum in Harkov, Donyeck and other cities as well, they promised to undo this law but it was the first thing they wanted to pass). I do agree with you Mr. Paul on the subject that in deed they cancelled the language law. I also agree that it was a fast decision, not really thought through and they are backing away from that now. This was done by a “government” that were installed in a day or two. THey tried to undo anything (even the good stuff) that was done by the previous government. Unfortunately these kind of things come with the “revolt” in any given… Read more »
Gab
Guest
WUL
Guest

It would be nice to read straight honest and no fake heartless comments.

A huge number of suffering Ukrainians are facing Putin, and Hungarians are posting joke like comments.

Are we having no decency left?

Lupus
Guest

I bet Mr. Paul’s education and work are similar to those of this “former” Russian officer this article refers to in its last sentence. What the hell do you expect from him? That’s his job, somebody’s gotta do it.

I also assume that Mr. Petrovics-Ofner is in some form or another a paid commenter here, only because he is Jewish it would not be politically correct to accuse him of that (of anything). But Orban’s media advisors are pretty smart and there is no way they will let this forum uninfluenced by their narratives, the more the better, they give strength and credibiltiy to each other.

http://news.yahoo.com/documents-reveal-huge-assault-planned-crush-kiev-protests-132210043.html

andy - Opposition SLEEPING again
Guest

A week ago in my comment #19 on Feb 23 “Trade Corridoor…” … /Putin/ is going to…keep… Ukraine in his sphere of influence. His energy pipeline, his Russian comrades in the Ukraine… take the USA as a point of comparison, it would be unthinkable for the US to let for example Mexico into the hands of the Russian system…

So it was evident to me that Putin was going to assure himself of his Russian Naval Base in the Crimea.

He has the upper hand in Military Terms and in terms of geopolitical, linguistic, secret service, influence and cultural relationships etc.

In the current climate of universal influence meddling, he would be a fool not to.

As regarding the effect on the HUNGARIAN ELECTIONS. this COULD and should bring SUPER ADVANTAGES TO THE OPPOSITION.

Yet I HAVE NOT SEEN our OPPOSITION Effectively play with “See neighbor UKRAINE”. “Do you want Russian Soldiers on Hungarian Soil AGAIN??? !!!!

How long will it take the Mesterhazy- Gyurcsany- Bajnai folks to turn the Ukraine-Russia affair into a FEAR-element against ORBAN !!!!!!!!!!!!!! ?????????????

Orban would be pouncing up and down in GLEE if the roles were turned upside-down….

Spectator
Guest

Once again the leaders of Hungary managed to bound the country to the “wrong” side, by creating economical- and inevitably political entanglement with the Russians.
Even worse, in my opinion, that this time the motivaton was nothing better, but the megalomaniac urge of a wannabe dictator to “prove” himself worthy, to show how “independent” he can really be of the EU, by offering the country to Putin’s Russia instead.
In my book it qualifies for high treason, if anything.

Now we have the first row seat to watch closely, how in reality this Eastern love-affair really works, and maybe, maybe have a chance to reconsider, if we really want to hug that bear again.
It would mean to throw out Orbán and his corrupt-to-the-bone system, of course, send the Great Leader to his idol as a present (TO Russia with love) – there’s a chopper suit for the purpose on the airfield of Budaörs – and start finally build a European Hungary.

Allegedly some pigs fly too, so it may have a chance.

Péterfi
Guest
Spectator, Orban and his people calculate that Putin cannot be the “wrong” side. Even if Putin somehow disappears tomorrow his successor will be a similarly dictatorial, corrupt silovik who will continue with Putin’s policies. The Russian empire, which is just resurrecting itself, isn’t going anywhere. The Russians will still be here in 500 years and they will never turn any more democratic. Take the problems of the Hungarian opposition and then try to scale those up 180 times, and add on top of those that in Russia if you are politically problematic you really can get killed or in a luckier case imprisoned at a whim. There is no way anybody will take the power away from the Russian siloviki. The empire is just getting started. And nobody can stop Russia, just as nobody could prevent the US from invading Iraq. The US needed to sit on Iraq’s oil so that nobody else could dispose over it and so the US took it. Russia now needs at least the Eastern part of Ukraine for numerous reasons and it will take it. Russia will show that it is still a player and it can do whatever it wants and nobody dares… Read more »
Marcel Dé (@MarcelD10)
Guest

Seems the cat is out of the bag…

„The United States condemns the Russian Federation’s invasion and occupation of Ukrainian territory, and its violation of Ukrainian sovereignty and territorial integrity in full contravention of Russia’s obligations under the UN Charter, the Helsinki Final Act, its 1997 military basing agreement with Ukraine, and the 1994 Budapest Memorandum. This action is a threat to the peace and security of Ukraine, and the wider region.”

http://www.state.gov/secretary/remarks/2014/03/222720.htm

Guest

The EPP (of which Fidesz is – still – a member) invited both Timoshenko and Klitchko to their congress in Dublin before the elections to the European Parliament.

A bit OT: The German constitutional court invalidated the 3% clause for the EP elections so we’ll probably see some representatives from our splinter parties in Germany – and both EPP and Social Democrats might lose a few seats in the EP …

Spectator
Guest
@Péterfi “I hope Orban will have his comeuppance soon, but right now it looks as though he is right. Russia is here for the long term and the EU and US are divided, wavering and keeping busy themselves with legalistic issues. One does not need to be a rocket scientist to see that those will not get you very far against Russia. Perhaps my special version of the English language helped to the misunderstanding, or else, but I didn’t even hinted to do anything “against Russia”. Against Orbán, yes, for numerous reasons – one of them high treason, for giving away (selling?) excessive influence over Hungary to another country, and in this respect doesn’t even matter if it Russia. And no, this act is in no circumstances comparable to our joining to the EU: a solitary action of a lunatic vs a country decide trough referendu, not to mention all the other aspects. Only icing on the cake, that we talking about the same person who’s anti-russian stance provided the backbone for his fierce rhetoric in many decades. In my opinion one can very well be aware of, even respect geopolitical realities and still keep principles – just look at… Read more »
petofi
Guest

I don’t see why the powers-that-presently-be in Kiev couldn’t have trumped this power move of Putin…? Why, for instance, couldn’t a government communique have been issued immediately reaffirming the pact with Russia to keep the troops in Crimea until 2042?
Also, why couldn’t steps have been taken to invite local leaders of the Russian sectors of the Ukraine to come to Kiev for negotiations about their presence in the new government or, even, about local independence?

If those things had been done, Putin wouldn’t have any ’cause’ as excuse to enter the country militarily.

Marcel Dé (@MarcelD10)
Guest

@petofi

Chronology: the Ukrainian Rada approved Yatseniuk as PM on Feb. 27 at around 2:00 pm. Four to five hours after reports that ‘anonymous’, professional gunmen had taken control of the Crimean Rada.

Moscow certainly has reasons. But it doesn’t have causes, except for those it manufactures by the hour.

Marcel Dé (@MarcelD10)
Guest

Péterfi :
The Russians will still be here in 500 years …

Or not. Or “the Russians” in 500 years might be mostly descendents of today’s North Caucasian, Chinese and Nigerian people.

In my view, even within a 50 years perspective only, the kind of ethnic nationalism Putin is relying on is completely outdated. Much like the Magyar one, as a matter of fact.

Mr. Paul
Guest

Marcel Dé (@MarcelD10) :
@petofi
Chronology: the Ukrainian Rada approved Yatseniuk as PM on Feb. 27 at around 2:00 pm. Four to five hours after reports that ‘anonymous’, professional gunmen had taken control of the Crimean Rada.

How are the two connected in any way? Approval of someone as PM and the Crimean events?

Marcel Dé (@MarcelD10)
Guest

@Mr Paul: just read the comment I was answering.

Btw I agree with the repelling of the 2012 language law by the Rada being a stupid move. However if I’m not mistaken, yesterday morning the new Ukrainian PM told the V4 FMs he thought so too, which may have been seen as an opening… Yet, Russian troops continued to deploy, and Moscow made their use official the very same day.

Putin is moving on his own. The invasion was decided the day Yanukovich left Kyiv, after he had signed an agreement… that the Russian envoy didn’t sign. We’re beyond any “appeasing” moves.

petofi
Guest

In Hungary, shouldn’t the political opposition be pushing for the government to support the independence of Ukraine? And couldn’t the government (non-) response be a valid
election issue?

tamas
Guest

petofi:

Putin does not need excuses and pretexts, though it is useful if he can rely on those. He can do whatever he wants.

The Russian-Ukrainian issue is controversial in Hungary because of the ethnic Hungarians living in Ukraine.

Hungarian voters are assumed to care primarily about the ethnic Hungarians and not about Ukrainians in Kiev. Anybody who sides with a regime which later suppresses ethnic Hungarians could lose out politically and Fidesz’ machinery would kill those opposition politicians who would value Ukrainians before Hungarians.

This is a complex issue and most voters are not amenable to complex issues.

Marcel Dé (@MarcelD10)
Guest

tamas :
The Russian-Ukrainian issue is controversial in Hungary because of the ethnic Hungarians living in Ukraine.

But precisely – doesn’t the EU provide today the best framework for long-term protection and empowerment of minority languages and cultures?

petofi
Guest

Marcel Dé (@MarcelD10) :

tamas :
The Russian-Ukrainian issue is controversial in Hungary because of the ethnic Hungarians living in Ukraine.

But precisely – doesn’t the EU provide today the best framework for long-term protection and empowerment of minority languages and cultures?

I agree.
In that case, the opposition should stress that the protection of ethnic Hungarians in other lands is best done within the framework of the EU; adding an extra quiver to the opposition argument over maintaining not only good relations with the EU but active membership within it.

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