That is the takeaway from an interview with Janos Lazar - right hand of Hungary Prime Minister
- "...the American wire tapping and spying scandals of the past few years have made it clear that our allies do not respect their partners"
- "Hungary is not for sale. Neither for the Russians nor for the Americans."
- "The demonstrations are as though the American embassy had assumed the role of the Hungarian political opposition."
- "They want to tell us how to behave, what to think about the world. And they tell us how we should live."
- "Americans should respect Hungary’s thousand-year history, traditions, which cannot be changed through the use of outside force, pressure."
This is rather incredible. The statements themselves are all pretty common sense, even somewhat tame.
But fact is governments of Central European states simply do not talk about the US in this way. Not even close.
That's why this interview was given by Lazar rather than PM Orban – for fear of antagonizing the US further.
But it's clear Lazar is expressing what the entire government thinks. The pro-American translator of the interview notes as much.
It's clear Hungary government does not see itself as particularly pro-Russian, merely conservative, patriotic Hungarian.
But it's also clear it feels it is the US, not Russia, which has a problem with that orientation.
We don't think Hungary government is crazy brave. It never deliberately set out to challenge the US.
And it's deeply uneasy about the fact it is now in Washington's bad graces.
But now that it has fallen into disfavor there is nothing left but to make a stand – and it's making it.
Janos Lazar is the Minister of Prime Minister's Office.
Magyar Hirlap (Hungarian Gazette) is a Hungarian right-of-center daily.
How do you assess the work of the Information Authority (IH), more commonly known as the Hungarian foreign intelligence?
Unfortunately, the American wire tapping and spying scandals of the past few years have made it clear that our allies do not respect their partners, and that there are no inhibitions or limits.
The WikiLeaks documents indicate that America also collects information about the personal lives of leading politicians in our country as well.
What stands behind the attempt to exert influence over Hungary?
America’s interests are not the same as Hungary’s.
The United States does not take into consideration the traditions of the region, the country’s traditions. Unfortunately, they don’t want to understand Central European history and national characteristics.
Naturally, there exist influential United States interest groups as well with which we do not agree on matters of fundamental questions of values.
This world violently, and with money, spreads its convictions such as disregard for the fact that, irrespective of their political proclivities, two-thirds of Hungarians understand a family to refer to the relationship between a man and a woman, and give them the right to raise children.
What is the stronger viewpoint for the Americans, exercising pressure for political or economic interests?
Both. In the future America will change from being an importer to being an exporter of gas thanks to the mining of shale gas, for which it must create a market.
We can discuss this, but I am certain that the use of power politics is not a suitable method for securing markets.
Our point of view is unequivocal: Hungary is not for sale. Neither for the Russians nor for the Americans.
We will purchase energy from whoever sells it cheaply and guarantees that it arrives to use as well.
However, we are a small market. It is not sure that this is the only reason we became an important terrain to the United States.
Unfortunately, there is no economic growth in the European Union, and for this reason the region of Central Europe has become more valuable. Our area has economic potential, from here it is possible to strengthen the western part of the continent as well.
A warlike situation has developed between the United States and Russia, and the Americans want to create a new iron curtain on Russia’s border.
We are starting from the basic thesis formulated by German chancellor Helmut Kohl and French president Francois Mitterrand: Europe needs the Russians.
The war and Russia’s economic collapse has unforeseeable consequences for Europe and Hungary. We are going to pay a high price for it.
In the midst of the Russian-Ukrainian crisis we should not forget either that more than 100,000 Hungarians are living in Karpátalja (Carpatho-Ukraine), a substantial number of which are Hungarian citizens as well. The most important thing for the government is to protect them as well.
Do you also believe that the Americans are behind the Autumn demonstrations?
The demonstrations are proof that the right to the freedom of expression exists in Hungary.
The demonstrations are as though the American embassy had assumed the role of the Hungarian political opposition. It might appear to some as though they gave up on the opposition parties ever winning the confidence of the Hungarians, and for this reason they have risen to the task of leading the dissatisfied.
They express opinions on matters not customary for diplomats. They want to tell us how to behave, what to think about the world. And they tell us how we should live.
The credibility of the United States has been called into question by the fact that the American spokesman André Goodfriend is either unable or unwilling to tell public opinion why six Hungarian citizens were banned from entering the United States.
Americans should respect Hungary’s thousand-year history, traditions, which cannot be changed through the use of outside force, pressure.
Hungarians do not want to be Americans, Germans or Russians.
We want to remain Hungarians!