The man behind the Russian-Hungarian rapprochement: Ernő Keskeny

A few days ago a fascinating article appeared about the diplomatic impasse in which Viktor Orbán finds himself. It was written by Szabolcs Panyi of Index. Most of the information the journalist received seems to have come from disgruntled diplomats who either have already lost their jobs or fear that they will in the near future.

Earlier I wrote about the massive firings that took place last year. The first round of pink slips were handed out after the arrival of Tibor Navracsics as interim minister of foreign afffairs. The second, when Péter Szijjártó became the new minister.

It is customary to make personnel changes when there is a change of government, and therefore it was not at all surprising that in 2010, after the formation of the second Orbán government, the newly-appointed minister, János Martonyi, got rid of many of the top diplomats of the earlier socialist-liberal governments. The cleanup was thorough, more thorough than is usual in Hungary.  So, the diplomats who today are complaining about the direction of Hungarian diplomacy are not socialist or liberal leftovers. On the contrary, they are people who wholeheartedly supported the Orbán government’s foreign policy. At least until recently.

Panyi’s article covers many topics, each of which deserves deeper analysis. Today I am focusing on what–or, more accurately, who–is responsible for the present state of Russian-Hungarian relations. In the opinion of the more seasoned diplomats, “the lack of knowledge of Russia in the government is astonishing.” The Russia experts in the ministry were systematically excluded from any decision-making. The prime minister made decisions on the basis of personal contacts. One key player was Ernő Keskeny, today Hungarian ambassador to Kiev.

Anyone who wants to go beyond the bare bones biographical data about Keskeny available on the website of the Hungarian government should visit the Russian-language website Regnum. Apparently this news portal employs a fair number of former secret service experts who presumably are quite familiar with Keskeny. He is described as something of a country bumpkin “without diplomatic education or foreign diplomatic gloss” who comes “from the bottom of Hungarian society.” His education began in a vocational school. Later he studied in a pedagogical institute in Nyíregyháza. Eventually he received a university degree from ELTE, as Regnum notes, “in absentia.” Years later he received his Ph.D. in Russian Studies, also at ELTE. Apparently, it was Foreign Minister Géza Jeszenszky who helped him get a job in the ministry (1990-1994). By 1995 he became head of the Hungarian consulate in St. Petersburg. During the first Orbán administration he was ambassador to Moscow.

Keskeny is known as a rabid Russophile and as someone who knows Vladimir Putin quite well, most likely from the years he spent in St. Petersburg in the 1990s. Apparently, he was the one who arranged the first meeting between Putin and Orbán in November 2009, and ever since he has been promoting close relations between the two countries. He is described by Regnum as not too smart but a “reliable workhorse” who looks “more like a bandit than a diplomat.” Keskeny seems to be the chief adviser to Viktor Orbán on Russia.

Ernő Keskeny, standing in the background on the left, Moscow, December 2014

Ernő Keskeny, standing in the background on the left, Moscow, December 2014

Between 2010 and 2014, when he was in the Foreign Ministry, he was head of the department dealing with Eastern Europe and Central Asia. Later he was also named to be ministerial councillor in charge of the Commonwealth of Free Nations. Keskeny was known in the ministry as an unwavering supporter of a pro-Russian policy. As early as 2010 he tried to convince Martonyi to turn toward Russia, but at that time Martonyi could still prevent such a diplomatic move. As time went on, however, Keskeny gained more and more influence. As one of Index‘s sources put it, “everything concerning Russia went through Ernő Keskeny without any transparency or control.”

And now we come to the most frightening aspect of Keskeny’s role in Russian-Ukrainian-Hungarian relations. In November 2014 he was named ambassador to Kiev. One really wonders what message this is meant to send to the Ukrainian government. Keskeny’s devotion to Mother Russia is well known. Why did Orbán post him to Kiev? As one of Index‘s informers put it, sending Keskeny to Kiev is like sending him to Siberia. He will not be able to move an inch there. No one will talk to him. He will be totally useless in the Ukrainian capital. What worries people in the foreign ministry is that sending Keskeny to Kiev is “a gesture toward Russia.” Another source who is less antagonistic toward Keskeny thinks that he was sent there because he is “a hard worker” and the post in Kiev is not an easy one, a hypothesis that agrees with Regnum‘s description of the man.

Index learned who some of the more important pro-Russian people are in the ministry: Csaba Balogh, deputy undersecretary in charge of the Eastern Opening; János Balla, the new ambassador to Moscow; and Péter Györkös, ambassador extraordinary and plenipotentiary, permanent representative of Hungary to the Council of the European Union. Today there are still approximately one hundred graduates of the Moscow Diplomatic Academy who work in the Hungarian foreign ministry. Not all are pro-Russian, of course. But the ministry faithfully carries out Viktor Orbán’s pro-Russian policy.

Index‘s sources believe that by now Orbán realizes that his policies have led to isolation, but I would disagree. Today in the presence of the visiting Turkish prime minister he was still clinging to his ideas for a Turkish-Macedonian-Serbian pipeline.

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Paul
Guest

Whilst Orbán is being so chummy with Putin, the least he could do is find out who his tailor is.

It comes to something when you are out-suited by someone with the sartorial taste of the Russian President.

Owl
Guest
The pipeline from Turkey to Hungary (in Hungary to be built by Olajterv/OT Industries), the former South Stream which is to be renamed cool-sounding Tesla (who was also Serbian) is an absolute top priority for Orban. He was in Serbia for that, he talked about it with Putin, he is pushing for it with the Turkish prime minister, it’s almost as if he couldn’t possibly do more to realize the pipeline, as if he wanted to be the top salesman of the deal. Anybody who believes that Orban abandons Putin or the pro-Russian strategy is an amateur, he won’t. At most he will redouble his efforts to perform his time-honored peacock dances, fortunately there are less and less who fall for those. Orban really believes in Russia as a conservative beacon and he is not a person to change his mind, to the contrary, the bigger the opposition, the more adamant he is in continuing with the same. Plus there are the financial interests in those deal energy/construction deals too, let’s not forget about them either. This Panyi-article in Index was interesting, but the bottom line message that Orban knows that the Eastern Opening is a failure and that Hungary… Read more »
buddy
Guest

“the bottom line message that Orban knows that the Eastern Opening is a failure and that Hungary has no friends left (implying that he will change course now that he realized his mistake) is a Századvég-concocted lie which hopefully no sane observer at this blog will believe.”

I agree, and moreover there’s no real evidence for this in the article either. I don’t know how journalists can get away with writing misleading stories like this.

cheshire cat
Guest
I was impressed with this Index article, and I’m glad you have decided to cover it, Eva! I felt the information (though from anonym sources) was genuine. According to the sources, Orban was never that close to Putin ideologically, he just saw an opportunity and went for it, not realizing that he could disturb decades of careful diplomacy. He didn’t realize how isolated it made him internationally in the last year, because ambassadors and diplomats simply didn’t tell him about the reactions from other countries. Allegedly, only the Berlin ambassador didn’t self- censor the messages, so the German policies remained somewhat more realistic. The shockingly icy Polish welcome allegedly upset Orban more than critics in Brussels or the US, because he had always dismissed the West, but had always imagined himself and Hungary as the centre of the Central-Eastern European region. On the whole, diplomats and politicians with expertise and values have been sacked and replaced by Szijjarto’s buddies, and it’s these disappointed experts who have started to speak up. They say that Orban must have finally started to understand how seriously isolated he has become, and ordered all ambassadors home to be lectured on “the new direction” in March.… Read more »
engelbert
Guest

I wonder where you grew up. If in Hungary than I’m not surprised that you believed it so easily. You probably were not told to approach texts with criticism, that newspapers have slants, follow ideologies, are often used to attain political goals (look no further than GFG or Századvég or Simicska, or the fact that index.hu doesn’t deal with Zoltan Spéder’s controversial deals as he is the owner of index.hu), there are always interests involved, that political discourse has to do with power.

In Western journalism anonimious sources always, always raise red flags (even if they are getting more and more popular even at NYT).

I found this article interesting ,but I had a lot of issues with it, and certainly would not think it was all truth just because it was “interesting” and well-written. This is not cynicism, reading of articles, any texts requires a certain critical approach, but that’s not taught in Hungary at all, where education is about memorizing stuff.

cheshire cat
Guest

Thanks for a patronising comment. I never said I “believed it”, just that I was impressed with it. It’s not even an “article” or “reporting” as such, it’s just a collection of opinions from unnamed people, and as such, I would not “believe” it. I know how to read newspapers, thank you.

I said it sounded genuine, because what these ex-diplomats were saying sound much like what many people have been suspecting behind Orban’s miserable foreign policy.

Member

OT: I know I am driving everyone in sane by now, but as some features are reconfigured on the site to provide a better experience, we are also reconfiguring things that will help HS to be found. hungarianspectrum.org is already ranked 10th on Google search, 3rd on Bing if you are looking for Hungarian politics. We are not on the news sites yet, but getting there.
Search engine ranking has to do with algorithm, and I am not going into details here, but please check out the right side bar and click on ‘Like HSpectrum’, and click on the Facebook , Twitter sites and like them, please.

Paul
Guest

You are not driving us insane! You are doing an excellent job.

Member

It is my unqualified guess, that Mr. Keskeny is a Russian spy, one of many dozens in the Hungarian Government, the Ministries, Secret Service, Police and Army.

Live long and prosper
Guest

I apologise for going OT, but yesterday I read an FT blog from which I have have lifted the following: “…[Orban] rose to fame as an anti-communist student firebrand who, in 1989, publicly demanded that Soviet troops should leave Hungary” – recently, here on HS, I read in a comment (and I’d be delighted if anyone can confirm or prove otherwise) that Orban’s famous speech actually post-dated the Russians’ decision to depart. Which, if it’s true, materially changes things: I had previously accepted the idea that his was a uniquely brave voice publicly raised in defiance of the Russians. But if they’d anyway already taken the decision to leave Hungary, then it was nothing more than a cheeky publicity stunt by an opportunistic student with grandiose political ambitions. And if that’s right, then it’s a pervasive political myth that warrants widespread and concerted correction.
~~
And as for his tailor, I have to disagree. Considering the form he has to work with, I think the man (or woman) is a positive genius.

Webber
Guest

Troops leaving Russia – that had NOTHING to do with Orban’s speech. They left the entire region because of decisions made in Moscow.
Sartorial issues: Hungarian men often seem to prefer to wear trousers a size or two too short, jackets a size or two too narrow, and hats so small they sit like oversized kipas on the top of the head. It’s just a different national fashion sense.
Hungarian women seem to follow European fashion trends more closely.

Alex Kuli
Guest

As I recall, Orban’s speech pre-dated the Russians’ decision to depart. However, he may not have been the first speaker at Nagy’s reburial to make this demand; he just did it more loudly and brashly than the other guy. It was also exciting to see a new generation of leaders champing at the bit to take power from the commies.

Little did we know the son would turn into the father.

Live long and prosper
Guest

There are some highly knowledgeable contributors to HS, I hope one of them has the relevant dates and lay this issue to rest. Perhaps Eva’s encyclopedic knowledge will be the source?

Paul
Guest

My understanding is that the deal (for the |Russians to withdraw) had already been done, and Orbán knew that. His speech was pure opportunism, and the others on the Round Table were very annoyed with him. Not only because he stole the limelight, but they also feared a negative reaction from the Russians at being ‘told’ to go home.

He was as much of an opportunist arse then as he is now.

cheshire cat
Guest

As far as I know, not only had it been decided and openly spoken about before, but the parties had agreed not to mention it in their speeches so as not to irritate the Russians and not to disturb the delicate managing of the issue. Orban simply broke his word.
The myth has been spread by the western media, because the reburial was a newsworthy event in international headlines, and his appearance, his youth, his vitality, him being the only one talking about it created an image worth reporting. It was then that international media and politicians first heard of him. I was a teenager and remember the occasion, and I certainly don’t remember finding this part of his speech anything new, as everybody was already talking about it.
Having said that, Orban and Fidesz did play a huge role in changing the system, they were genuine and determined anti-communist fighters. But this one has always been blown out of proportion. He himself said to a journalist a few years later, that his focus had been on “how dare the socialist party stand here and celebrate with us” rather than anything else.

Webber
Guest

How is the pipeline supposed to get to Macedonia from Turkey? Through Greece, or through Bulgaria?
Bulgaria already kiboshed one pipeline, so I guess it’s supposed to go through Greece – how, though? The country there is pretty rough. Also, how without EU permission?
I THINK Orban might have visited Serbia for another reason, too. A few days before his surprise visit the Serbian government announced it would be importing American liquefied natural gas in a couple of years (I guess from the LNG terminal in Croatia). Since Serbia now gets a lot of gas via Hungary, this would affect Hungary.

engelbert
Guest
The EU will have to give permission if the pipeline will be open to other traders/operators besides the owner. Orban and his advisors feel that first time around the structuring was bad, but they will hire better lawyers. They will formally separate ownership and operation (guess who’s good at creating phony corporate structures and using front companies) and than the EU will nave no choice but to rubberstamp it. The most common regulatory area in the EU where fronts appear all the time is the airline industry, where no out of the EU owner may own more than 50%, which means that natural persons with interesting backgrounds are involved all the time. There will be well-connected Brussels law firms who will solve the issue at Tesla, Gazprom will keep the control one way or another and it will control capacities so that effectively nobody else will have access to the pipeline. But on paper everything will look just fine. Orban isn’t giving South Stream/Tesla up, that’s for sure. Orban and his friends would have made a cool net 200bn forints on South Stream’s Hungarian portion as it would have been their company which would have constructed it, they won’t give… Read more »
Webber
Guest

If Azeri gas could also be transported via a Turkish pipeline, Orban might find a lot of allies in (for him) surprising places – possibly including Washington.

leppard
Guest

Thanks for the idea, Azeri gas could certainly be transported, yes, certainly it could be. It won’t be, of course, as a matter of fact, but let those supporting allies dream on…

leppard2
Guest

(2nd try) Thanks for the idea, Azeri gas could certainly be transported, yes, certainly it could be. It won’t be, of course, as a matter of fact, but let those supporting allies dream on…

Webber
Guest

It does occur – just a thought – that Turkey may have some say about which countries’ gas will be transported via its pipeline, and I seem to recall that Turkey’s relations with Azerbaijan are, on the whole, somewhat more cordial than they are with Russia. That does not mean, of course that the Hungarian government will necessarily buy Azeri gas.
Anyway, I see the pipeline from Azerbaijan via Turkey to Europe is already being constructed:
http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/turkey-azerbaijan-break-ground-for-trans-anatolian-gas-pipeline.aspx?PageID=238&NID=71968&NewsCatID=348

Webber
Guest

The flags painted on the pipeline in the story above are interesting. They are the flags of: Azerbaijan, Georgia, Turkey, Greece, Bulgaria, Albania, Italy, Montenegro (? hard to see), Great Britain, and The United States.
Russian and Hungarian flags are notably absent.

Rudi
Guest

Orban wants Russian gas by any means necessary, because this way he can continue to make untold billions via MET and legal loopholes. Competition makes life complicated. Not good. He doesn’t care about Azeri gas or anything else, he wants to be loyal to Russia.

Webber
Guest

Okay – what you’ve said makes sense. What does not make sense to me is Tesla. Orban is getting all the Russian gas he could possibly want via existing pipelines. Why waste time and money on the Tesla pipedream?

Rudi
Guest

People related to/interested in OT Industries already spent in their heads the spoils from this HUF 100-200bn project (who knows what would have been the end figure, perhaps several times that, and don’t forget the insider deals from the appropriation of private lands over which the pipelines would have run). They have little business opportunities in Hungary so they push for every possible deal (that Orban is in OT, is a great incentive for Hungary for push for any such potential deal). If Orban can appear to be loyal to Russia at the same time, even better.

Miki
Guest

There’s very little Hungarian involvement in this picture!

Guest

Picture analysis
Putin´s grip around Orban’s hand reveals the relationship between them. Putin it not shaking hands. He is demonstrating the beginning of a handcuffing routine.

tappanch
Guest

The current US administration and the German Bertelsmann group work in a similar fashion.
We learned a few weeks ago, that chargé d’affaires Goodfriend had to leave Budapest. Orban did not like him.

Now television chain RTL will move/fire its Budapest representative Gerkens, who was similarly disliked by the Fidesz government.

In return, the head of Bertelsmann was allowed to chat with his eminency, the great Orban yesterday. (the special taxes on RTL will also be lifted). I do no believe the smoke and rumor [sic] that the RTL newsreel will NOT be emasculated from the news Fidesz do not like.

http://nepszava.hu/cikk/1049442-az-rtl-hirado-nem-valtozik-de-gerkens-megy

Miki
Guest

If you consider that Hungary is not the most significant country to work in as a diplomat and that working in a country in which there is no free media is not ideal for the head of a tv station, you can see also see the replacement of Goodfriend and Gerkens to a normal country as a promotion.

Honti
Guest
If we want to be honest the referenced index.hu article contained only few new pieces of information. Notably it did contain a list of pro-Russian government operatives and a *suggested bottom line of the story* which might put the entire (already known) narrative in a new light. Everything else has been written down already, including by index.hu. The newly suggested bottom line was one of the new elements, which is that — according to unnamed inside sources at least — Orban now, after all, *gets it* and that he will soon engineer an entirely new diplomatic strategy, a pro-Western one this time. “Please wait, Orban will soon be a nice guy.” Now, let’s remember that Orban ordered a new communications strategy recently because he was dissatisfied with the existing one. Yesterday hvg.hu ran an article mentioning the communication issue again, also mentioning that the American campaign guru Finkelsten himself was called in (the article even implied that the anti-refugee media hysteria was his idea) and that fideszniks are ordered to redouble their efforts to improve communication. My conclusion, based on Fidesz’ known obsession with media and communications, peacock dances and manipulation (GFG), is that it’s no so much that Orban… Read more »
TeamBritanniaHu
Guest

Hungary was referred to by EU sources this a.m. as the only EU member state which wants to negotiate directly with Russia over gas prices. Wonder why?!

tappanch
Guest

Hungary is subject to arbitrary governance under Fidesz.

Currently, Sunday pay is plus 50% in Hungary. Fidesz promised to increase it to plus 100% last December.

They just changed their mind by lowering it to 0%!

http://vastagbor.atlatszo.hu/2015/02/25/megsem-lesz-100-os-a-vasarnapi-berpotlek-sot-potlek-sem/

There was a similar about-face recently. They first promised to increase the “ápolási díj” (home care for elderly people for a $80 a month compensation to the caregiver), then abolished it starting March 1, 2015.

tim
Guest

The index article is trying to provide cover for Goodfriend. The change to the foreign policy most likely comes from the grand bargain reached a few weeks ago between the US and Hungary.

Firing Goodfriend from the prestigious job of Deputy Chief of Mission was not a coincidence for sure.

Now Index peddles this story of “they suddenly understood everything and will change” instead of “the change was required by the deal that removed Goodfriend”.

The interesting part is, what else was part of the deal that unceremoniously ended Goodfriend’s presence in Budapest

Webber
Guest

I think the Index article, as well as what you’ve written above, is just a little too strong on speculation. You and Index may be right – but it doesn’t seem to add up yet.

petofi
Guest

@ Live long and prosper, Alex Kulli

re Orban’s ‘go home’ speech…

What I have read–don’t remember where–was that Hungarian leaders were informed of the Russian decision to leave beforehand, but were asked not to reference it in speeches. So Orban, the grand poseur, stands up and makes believe, in a speech, that he demands that
the Russians leave–political opportunism at its Hungarico worst.

As for the pipeline…much like Paks, Orban wants to commit major, long term contracts so that
the public purse is tied up in doings in which he will have major control for many years. There
will be precious little moneys left for decades in the public purse, whether Orban is prime minister or not.

Aside from the monetary gains for Orban, let’s not forget his long-term plan to get Hungary kicked out of the EU. Such frivolous spending, along with committing acts (like the building of the pipeline) that the EU does not allow, should go a long way to achieving Orban’s aim–a duty he was given a long time ago by his Russian bosses.

Guest

A bit OT:
A conference on “Tüntetés a Corrupció Kormánya ellen!” on March8 was announced on facebook. Could that be interesting for the Hungarians in Budapest here?
https://www.facebook.com/events/1552242775045861

Live long and prosper
Guest

As always, this blog is highly informative. Thanks to: Eva, Webber, Alex Kuli, Some1 and Petofi for their further contributions in response to my earlier query about Orban’s speech in ’89. In the light of these facts I shall be attempting to disavow those faithful followers I know from the persistent fantasy that with this speech he rolled back the iron curtain.
~~
OT again: do readers believe that it’s probably true that, for those living in Hungary, the act of criticising the regime (on this blog and elsewhere) might induce some form of reprisal or actual negative consequence? My concern derives from the comment of a friend I met today, who believes it to be so. He could be right. I do not know. I only know that I feel it necessary to speak out against the myriad injustices, rampant cronyism and corruption, and the rest.
Thoughts?

Webber
Guest

If a person is Hungarian and employed by the state (incl. education) or a Fidesz-friendly business (CBA stores, for instance) your friend is right.

Live long and prosper
Guest

He’s not, but lives and has a business in Bp.

Webber
Guest

Hard to say, then. Might depend on whether his business does business with state-owned companies.

Live long and prosper
Guest

What a dreadful indictment – “Criticise the regime at your peril.” – probably there are people in Hungary who wouldn’t see anything wrong or strange in that. So much for it having much of a prospect of becoming more liberal. If you’re right, it’s already illiberal.

Webber
Guest
Well, Orban wasn’t lying, was he? “They” are very open about it in Hungarian. In a recent interview the owner of the CBA chain of stores sadly “admitted” that not all employees support Fidesz, but said he’s working on that. A couple of years ago employees of CBA were told to attend the pro-govt. Peace Marches, or risk losing their jobs. There’s a lot going on that people who don’t speak Hungarian never hear, but people who do speak Hungarian hear all the time. If you are Hungarian, you are told not to “denigrate the nation or government.” In the view of the current government, unacceptable criticism is any criticism whatsoever of government policies in foreign languages (this they really despise) or, indeed, in public fora in Hungarian. L’etat c’est nous/Fidesz/KDNP. Criticize them, and woe on you if you are in a state job (incl. teaching in a public school for a pittance). The thinking goes right back – through communist times. Now, as in communist times, you can lose your job for opening up (this was not true before this govt.) The underlying idea that criticizing the Hungarian government is “treason” is deeply rooted. Just take a look at… Read more »
Szabolcs
Guest

Outside Budapest almost everybody has a spouse, cousin, uncle who works for the state, municipality or for an enterprises which depends on public procurement business (but even if it does not depend per se on the municipality, sooner of later you will need a building permit or the like, so you don’t want to ruin your relationship with influential people).

Fidesz, just like any mafia operates on the principle that retaliation for betrayal (i.e., any kind of perceive criticism) is inevitable. So it’s very difficult to be critical openly, I know several people who suspect that their locally known relatives suffered because of them. Almost the only people who can afford to be critical are pensioners with relatives who moved to Budapest or abroad.

Rural Hungary unfortunately lacks the kind of middle class which could be the basis of democracy.

In Budapest, especially now, people are much more likely to speak up and criticize the government.

However, the election system is specifically designed to compartmentalize Budapest where people tend to be more critical and liberal (whatever that means).

Webber
Guest

Funny, isn’t it, that they don’t realize how much this is making people hate them? It’s just bizarre, to me, that people raised under communism who saw its fall should imagine that stifling dissent would keep them in power.
I wonder, sometimes, if they don’t believe that the biggest problem with the single-party communist dictatorship was that it wasn’t Christian and national?
Still, that very bizarre interview with GFG in Magyar Narancs suggests that some of them (or maybe just GFG?) are telling themselves other stories about the meaning of power and how to properly govern.

mong
Guest

Webber: In one of Krisztian Ungvary’s book on the history of the 20th century, the extreme-right winger (former arrow-cross) who was arrested by the communists told someone that actually the system (Rakos’s hard line communism) was quite good, except that there were too many jews in the leadership (meaning Rakosi and some others). Many people surely did like the soft dictatorship say from 1970’s onwards and would have been very happy with a christian, national version of it (of course what these voters don’t really get is that economically that system was completely unsustainable).

Guest

“economically that system was completely unsustainable” – and also ecologically!
Those were in my eyes the biggest problems of the Communist block and what I’m still wondering is:
Did intelligence services and politicians in the West not realise this or did they just not want to see it?
Everybody claimed that East Germany eg was closing the gap to the West but us regular people could see that it just wasn’t true.
And from friends I heard that in Hungary (and everywhere else) the situation was similar – the West gave billions of money but that couldn’t go on forever …
Almost like the EU’s money flowing into Hungary right now ….

googly
Guest

I don’t think that the state exerts the effort to punish people who anonymously comment on blogs in English, yet, but I believe that some sporadic punishment for public criticism does occur. I guarantee that if you make critical comments online with your own name (on Facebook, for example), you will not get a job with the government, and probably not with many companies that work for or with the government or are owned by overtly pro-Fidesz people. I imagine that some applicants slip through the cracks, but the policy is certainly there, and hiring managers are very likely to do a quick search online.

Member

Back to the Orban sending home the Russians (LOL)… Anyone who is interested here is the chronological “report” on what really happened with the Soviets going on home and the dismantling the iron curtain:
http://nol.hu/velemeny/ki-kuldte-haza-a-szovjeteket-1477719

I even found something new in there. On Március 15- in Szeged Erno Raffaysaid the followingy “a nation cannot live when foreign army is staioned there”. He read 12 points in puiblic at the Dugonics Square and demanded the “Withdrawal the Soviet troops form Hungary!”

petofi
Guest

@Webber

That is the pledge of allegiance of a vassal.

Istvan
Guest

gybognarjr I agree with your thought that Ernő Keskeny could be a Russian Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR) agent. I would assume that both the CIA station chiefs in Kiev and Budapest would have much better information on that issue than either of us. But the real question for me and others here in the USA concerned about the evolution of the Orban government towards Russia is how many SVR agents are planted in the Hungarian government and military? Its a scary thought actually.

zola
Guest

Ernő Keskeny was born in 1958, but as I see he has no relevant CV work experience data from prior to 1991, when he was already 33 years old.

Keskeny apparently studied for two full BA/MA programs back to back from 1980 to 1989, which is highly unusual for that era and would certainly merit further scrutiny, especially because second degrees (anyway very rare) were usually obtained via night school or correspondence programs leaving time for full time employment. In any case, there are missing years, since he was 22 when he entered college in Nyiregyhaza and we know nothing about what he did from 1989 until 1991 when (it seems) he formally entered foreign service.

What I assume is that he was and still is a Hungarian secret service agent, who at one point might have been turned by the Russians.

tappanch
Guest
tappanch
Guest

By the way, Lezsak’s grouping inside the Fidesz boasts 8 MPs and a member of Orban’s “constitutional court” (Balsai).

In its section of “future events”, the current news is “in the wake of Russian classical writers – competition for high school students”

http://www.nemzetiforum.hu/index.php?id=20070508kepviselok

Ron
Guest

The Financial Times has a nice piece in the blog from Political Capital Management.

http://blogs.ft.com/beyond-brics/2015/02/24/guest-post-putins-visit-to-hungary-raised-more-questions-than-it-provided-answers/

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