Hungary Accepts Sweden Joining NATO: Putin’s Gamble Failed

Hungary Accepts Sweden Joining NATO: Putin’s Gamble Failed

Kanako Mita, Sawako Utsumi, and Lee Jay Walker

Modern Tokyo Times

The Russian Federation expanded under President Vladimir Putin. However, the misguided policy of sending the armed forces to Kiev (Kyiv) in Ukraine backfired – irrespective of the outcome of the conflict between Ukraine and indigenous Russians in the Donbass (Donbas) region and the armed forces of the Russian Federation.

Pro-Russian forces in the Donbass region were bombed endlessly since 2014 by Ukraine. Yet, despite sanctions being imposed concerning Crimea – the divide between NATO and the Russian Federation did not materialize related to a full-scale war between Ukraine and the Russian Federation.

Convulsions often take time to follow the initial breakdown of the established order. Accordingly, with Finland and Sweden joining NATO since the Ukraine crisis began – Hungary just endorsed Sweden joining NATO – the convulsions of the weakened geopolitical space of the Russian Federation are continuing.

If the Russian Federation had only sent troops into areas where indigenous pro-Russian forces opposed Ukraine’s dominance, the situation for Moscow might have been different. After all, fighting broke out repeatedly between Ukraine and pro-Russian forces since 2014. However, NATO didn’t hatch the plan to expand to Finland and Sweden because some sympathy existed concerning history.


The Minsk Agreement (Minsk Protocol) was signed in good faith by the Russian Federation. This agreement concerned indigenous Russians in the Donbass (Donbas) War against the armed forces of Ukraine. Accordingly, the Minsk Protocol was drafted in 2014.

France and Germany (Normandy Format) mediated between the Russian Federation, Ukraine, and the OSCE (Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe). The Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) and Lugansk People’s Republic (LPR) – indigenous Russians (and other ethnic groups who speak Russian and who identify with Russian culture) – are opposed to Ukrainian nationalism.


However, once Putin ordered an attack outside the theatre of war that began in 2014, the attack on Kiev entailed the opportunity for NATO to expand into Scandinavia. Two years later, and now Sweden – following on from Finland – is a NATO member.

Geopolitically, the Russian Federation is reeling from the folly of attacking Kiev during the start of the conflict between Ukraine and the Russian Federation (and internal pro-Russian forces in the Donbass region).

On top of this, the Russian Federation didn’t prevent Azerbaijan from crushing Armenian Christians in Nagorno-Karabakh. Accordingly, NATO Turkey, a firm ally of Azerbaijan, is expanding its influence in the Russian-dominated Caucasus region.

In this sense, irrespective of the outcome of the conflict in Ukraine, the real winner is NATO. It might not appear that way – for the economy of the Russian Federation is more robust than anyone imagined. Also, the Global South rebuked the arm-twisting of G7 and European Union nations.

However, NATO is now geopolitically entrenched in Scandinavia – and NATO Turkey is growing in influence in the Caucasus region. Therefore, even if the Russian Federation carves out parts of Ukraine based on the theory of Novorossiya (New Russia) – externally, NATO expansion is continuing.


France 24 reports, “Hungary’s parliament voted Monday to ratify Sweden’s bid to join NATO, bringing an end to more than 18 months of delays that have frustrated the alliance as it seeks to expand in response to Russia’s war in Ukraine.”

Prime Minister Viktor Orbán of Hungary said, “Sweden and Hungary’s military cooperation and Sweden’s NATO accession strengthen Hungary’s security.”

Orbán continued, “To be a member of NATO together with another country means we are ready to die for each other… A deal on defense and military capacities helps to reconstruct the trust between the two countries.”

Hungary and Turkey held out for different geopolitical and internal reasons. However, with Sweden joining NATO (similar to Finland since the war began) – and with NATO Turkey expanding its influence in the Caucasus region – the weakening of the Russian Federation geopolitically is happening under Putin.

Irrespective of the outcome of the war.

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