Hungarian Prime Minister Orbán’s controversial stance on Russia’s war in Ukraine helps, primarily, himself. His anti-Ukrainian rhetoric as well as positioning himself as a “pro-Peace” force in Europe and protector of Hungarians bring him – duly needed – domestic plus points.
Austria’s longstanding tradition of permanent neutrality is an integral part of the country’s identity and its approach to international politics. However, the flimsy and incoherent interpretation of it not only demonstrates that there is little consensus on how its neutrality policy should be exercised but also makes it a useful smokescreen to justify politicians’ behaviour and connections to certain states, such as Russia. As Sweden and Finland are giving up their neutrality to join NATO, some argue, it is time to rethink Austria’s neutrality too and finally develop a coherent neutrality policy.