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Budapest and Bucharest in Front of the Challenges of Ukrainian Internal Political Processes
Analysis and Forecasting. IMEMO Journal

Budapest and Bucharest in Front of the Challenges of Ukrainian Internal Political Processes

DOI: 10.20542/afij-2019-3-73-84
© 2019 Aleksei N. SMIRNOV
Received 09.07.2019.
Aleksei N. Smirnov (alexmirnew@mail.ru), Cand. Sci. (Polit.), Senior Researcher, Sector of Political Theory.  
Primakov National Research Institute of World Economy and International Relations, Russian Academy of Sciences (IMEMO), 23, Profsoyuznaya Str., Moscow 117997, Russian Federation.

The political crisis that Ukraine has been experiencing since 2014 has become a test not only for Russia, but also for a number of Eastern European states. The reason for this is both territorial proximity to the focus of tension, and a special historically conditioned attitude to Ukrainian affairs. After the collapse of the Soviet Union, the greatest similarity was observed in relations between independent Ukraine and Hungary and Romania. The similarity consisted of a close set of problems, the main of which was the presence of Hungarian and Romanian ethnic minorities living in the border areas. The article examines how the Ukrainian internal political processes of recent years have influenced these relations and what are the differences in the Budapest and Bucharest approaches to the mentioned problems.

The obvious discrepancies existing in the Hungarian and Romanian politics in the “Ukrainian direction” are caused by a whole set of factors, each of them reflecting the development priorities of these states, the ideological attitudes of their ruling elites, institutional features and relevant interpretations of national interests. Among the most obvious differences, one should note the tight linkage of the Hungarian policy of supporting compatriots, consistently carried out in Ukrainian Transcarpathia, to the right-conservative course of the country's leadership, which is not observed in the case of Romania. In turn, the Romanian ethno-political ambitions are more complex, due to the priority geopolitical project implemented by official Bucharest in relation to Moldova. In general, the geopolitical component is very clearly expressed in Romanian foreign policy, which is largely due to the strengthening of the Russian presence in the Black Sea basin, especially noticeable after the accession of Crimea to the Russian Federation. Accordingly, the attitude to the actions of Russia, perceived through the prism of the Ukrainian crisis, can serve as another indicator of the dissimilarity of the Romanian and Hungarian positions.

For citation:

Smirnov A. Budapest and Bucharest in Front of the Challenges of Ukrainian Internal Political Processes. Analysis & Forecasting. Journal of IMEMO, 2019, no 3, pp. 73-84. https://doi.org/10.20542/afij-2019-3-73-84

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