Through the ‘Trojan Horse’ of Urban and Vučić, Putin’s influence penetrates the European Union and the Balkans

They rule their country without a doubt. The basis for the very close cooperation between Hungary and Serbia is precisely the understanding of their leaders. Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban and Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic are taking notes and building similar systems, and they also have a friendly relationship with Russia. After all, from within the EU, Hungary is blocking a unified approach to the Putin regime, and Serbia, which is waiting to join the EU, has not joined the sanctions.

Budapest / Belgrade

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“Hungary is the biggest support for the Serbs on our way to the EU.” She said Last September, Serbian Prime Minister Anna Brnabic attended several joint meetings of the Hungarian and Serbian governments in recent years.

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One of the conclusions of the meeting was Orbán’s grand promise to “rebuild and protect” Central Europe from new waves of immigration. Hungary has a great ally in Serbia, investigators from CINS They calculated that in the years 2011-2020 alone, 70 million euros were invested in neighboring Serbia in an attempt to expand its influence.

“In recent years, cooperation between the two systems has strengthened, and Urban and Vucic have a personal connection,” confirms Balkan expert Frantisek Chistik from the Institute of International Studies at Charles University’s School of Social Sciences.

In May this year, both countries confirmed their strategic partnership, and the two leaders assured each other that they could count on each other in any difficulties. On that occasion, Urban jokingthat “Serbia is bad because it is outside the EU, while Hungary is bad because it is in the EU.”

Obq statesmen in May this year at the opening of the 89th International Agricultural Exhibition in Novi Sad | Source: Profimedia

Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Sigarto already three years ago He said for the admission of Serbia (and Montenegro) into the European Union by 2025. According to him, both countries were already practically ready and the integration of the Central and Western Balkans is in the political, economic and security interest of the Union.

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“Serbia in the European Union will be very beneficial to Hungary. It is a country with a similar societal model – an authoritarian democracy that evokes conservative values. Moreover, with a relationship similar to Russia. It is beneficial for Serbia to have a friendly country in Hungary that is trying to speed up its accession process”, explains Cesek .

Hungary is currently alone within the European Union in its attitude toward Russia. A different view of the invasion of Ukraine separated them from their traditional ally Poland – today’s Poles belong to the countries with more hardline stances toward the Putin regime.

Still far from the European Union

Hungary is already the driving force behind efforts to expand the European Union into the Western Balkans. According to Balkanist Systek, the main figure in this matter is the European Commissioner for Neighborhood and Enlargement, Oliver Varheli: “This is a potentially dangerous situation. Varheli is a very loyal person to Orbán and makes his policy closer to Orbán than to the EU.”

Candidate countries for membership of the European Union

Preparing for a country’s entry into the European Union is a complex process that usually takes several years. Once a candidate country fulfills the membership requirements, it must implement a number of EU rules and regulations into its national legal system.

Candidate countries that are in the process of incorporating legislation and that have been doing so since:

  • Ukraine (2022)
  • Moldova (2022)
  • Albania (2014)
  • Serbia (2012)
  • Montenegro (2010)
  • North Macedonia (2005)
  • Turkey (1999)

Bosnia and Herzegovina and Kosovo are potential candidates.

According to Sestek, Hungary is now pushing for Serbia to become a member state, regardless of the degree of development of democracy. “We also have cases from previous years that when reports are compiled on the state of expansion and progress in individual countries, the improvement of these reports occurs and the removal of references to negative developments from them,” he describes.

However, the real status of accession talks on Serbia’s accession to the European Union is at a standstill. Serbia has been a candidate country for a decade. Instead of reports on the rapid implementation of EU legislation or the fulfillment of requirements, the country appears in Corruption order TI is as low as 96 out of 180, and after the Serbian Progressive Party (SNS) led by President Vucic took power, it also falls in democracy arrangement.

Even at the recent summit of the European Union and the Balkans, there was no major breakthrough. This is what he confirmed European Parliament assessment From the beginning of July. Serbia received the least positive rating of the countries discussed.

“The MPs regret that Serbia did not join the EU sanctions after the Russian invasion of Ukraine and call on it to join the resolutions against Russia as soon as possible. Members express concern about the spread of disinformation and call on the Serbian authorities and the European Commission to combat disinformation, Russian propaganda and other mixed threats in the Western Balkans “. European Parliament Report.

Already in March, part of the MEPs of the liberal faction Renew Europe proposed to completely suspend accession negotiations with the Balkan country due to the fact that Serbia refused to join the anti-Russian sanctions.

If Serbia chooses to ignore the invitation to join the EU Common Position on Russia again, we ask for a temporary freeze on EU accession negotiations with the Serbian government and the withholding of financial support from the EU. @ Renew Europe ALDE PARTY Tweet embed

17:46 – 12 March 2022



There is no enthusiasm for Brussels, even from the Serbian side. In a recent poll, only 38% of Serbian respondents were in favor of EU membership, the lowest among the Western Balkan countries for a long time.

23:15 – 24 June 2022



Trojans in Moscow

“Orban and Vucic can be considered two people very close to the Putin regime. Hungary is like a Trojan horse for Russia in the European Union, and Serbia, in turn, is a Trojan horse for Russia in the Balkans,” assesses the cooperation of the tripartite states, Balkan Šístek.

Although Serbia condemned Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in the UN vote, not only has it joined European sanctions targeting Russia, Russian planes can fly in. Serbian airspace Belgrade’s position on the war in Ukraine is mixed, at least for now.

“We are a militarily neutral country, but we are on our way to Europe. But we want to maintain military neutrality,” he added. He said Vučić in April. At the same time, he did not forget to mention his friendship with Putin. Serbia has not turned its back on its traditional friend.

Viktor Orban and Aleksandar Vucic during the June summit on Western Balkan issues | Source: Profimedia

In a similar way, Vučić practices a kind of version of the “all azimuth policy”. He stressed that Serbia should establish good relations with Washington and Brussels, as well as with Moscow and Beijing.

“It must be admitted that Vuči does well with this balance,” He says An expert in the modern history of the Slavic peoples, Jan Recilik of the Faculty of Philosophy at Charles University.

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The Serbian-Russian alliance goes back many centuries, and the two countries are linguistically and religiously close. Thanks to this, Russia has been doing well for a long time it costs firmly on the side of the Serbs in international political issues.

“On the one hand, Serbian policy is pro-Russian, but on the other hand it does not abandon the European future. But it has not done much for it recently. In the meantime, like other Balkan countries outside the European Union, it is sliding towards authoritarian experiments. At the same time , no one cares about the fact that the process of joining the European Union has slowed down. In the short term, it is beneficial to cooperate with Russia, ”explains Schistek.

Last year, Russia, Hungary and Serbia were in the same boat regarding Collection Russia’s Sputnik V Antiviral Vaccines The alliance is also reflected in today’s highly skewed energy policy. Thanks to his good relationship with Putin, Vucic secured sufficient supplies of cheap Russian gas for his country for the next three years. And he didn’t forget show offAt a price several times lower than what the rest of Europe pays.

This is fully connected with the Hungarian attitude towards raw materials for Russian energy. Orban refused to participate in the Common European Solidarity regarding gas supplies, and instead signed an agreement with Serbia.

“Russia will not be ready to supply Hungary directly if there is a commitment to share its supplies with other EU member states,” he said. “But he has no problem with delivery to Serbia,” Hungarian analyst Daniel Hegedos told last week.

Kosovo brake

However, any consideration of Serbia’s accession to the European Union will inevitably be hampered by the unresolved issue of Kosovo. This was recently confirmed by German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, to me There is only one way for Serbia and Kosovo to join the union – mutual recognition of their state.

But it doesn’t look promising either, the dialogue is too much does not advanceOn the contrary, the situation on the borders of Kosovo and Serbia has escalated in recent weeks. Ethnic Serbs blocked roads near border crossings and shot at police in protest of the Kosovo government’s new rules on Serbian identity plates and identity documents. Soon the situation calmed down, the Kosovo government postponed the introduction of the planned changes for a month – to September 1. Currently With the help of the European Union, an agreement was reached between the two countries.

In cooperation with our international allies, we pledge to postpone the implementation of decisions on license plates and entry and exit documents at border crossing points with Serbia for a period of 30 days, provided that all barriers are removed and full freedom of movement is restored.

00:41 – 01/08/2022



“It’s just a reflection of an old conflict that has no reasonable resolution in the next 10 to 15 years,” Richelec believes. “All reasonable people and all politicians in Serbia are aware that Kosovo is lost, but no one can say it out loud because that would make themselves completely politically impossible. No government in Belgrade, whoever is elected, will say that. Perhaps in a hundred years.”

His words are confirmed by another poll, where 44% of Serbs believe that Kosovo has already irretrievably lost. But the recognition of its independence with the possibility of EU membership is supported by only 16% of the population of Serbia.

In a referendum to recognize Kosovo, the citizens of Serbia will vote:
12% in favor of
60% against

44% of citizens think that 🇽🇰 is lost

16% would support 🇽🇰 independence in favor of joining the European Union

26% would support Vucic’s plan even if she admitted 🇽🇰

(@ Institute of European Affairs Half)

15:57 – 17 August 2022



In 2008, Kosovo unilaterally declared independence from Serbia. This happened less than ten years after Belgrade lost control of this autonomous region. Serbia does not recognize the independence of Kosovo and still considers it an integral part of its territory.

Jacob Grimm

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