LMP calls for creation of committee to monitor Russian influence in Hungary

November 18, 2016


Parliamentary opposition party Politics Can Be Different (LMP) has called for the formation of an ad hoc parliamentary commission to examine Russia’s rising influence over Hungarian politics, reports index.hu. The request comes in response to recent events suggesting Russian meddling in the country’s affairs, including the Russian ties of militant nationalist group Hungarian Front Line (MNA) and its founder István Győrkös (pictured here on the left) who stands accused of killing one police officer and wounding another during a police raid on his home in the village of Bőny last month.

The seven-member committee would be composed of four members of the ruling party and one each from Jobbik, LMP and the Socialists (MSZP), and according to LMP board member Péter Ungár, the committee would “investigate the background of important national security or corruption risk issues connected to the gaining of Russian influence in Hungary.”

LMP has outlined three primary functions of the committee:

  1. The exploration of possible financial links between political parties and extra-parliamentary political movements with state organs of the Russian Federation, or with its secret services and economic figures connected to them
  2. The exploration of possible financial or institutional relationships of cooperation between Hungarian-based press and media service providers with state organs of the Russian Federation, or with its secret services and economic figures connected to them.
  3. The exploration of the national security or corruption risks connected to the case of Szilárd Kiss [former ministerial commissioner and Hungary’s official lobbyist in Moscow,  connected to illegal activities there and convicted for fraud], and the involvement of Hungarian government officials and other possible specific cases in the Russian acquisition of influence.

Ungár said that given the novel and unusual nature of Russia’s alleged attempts to gain influence in Hungary, the creation of an outstanding body beyond the scope of the National Security Committee is necessary to gain a better understanding of those attempts.

“Recent political developments in Moldova, Bulgaria and Montenegro clearly indicate that the east-central European region, of which Hungary is a part, is falling more and more under Russian influence,” he said, adding that the deal to expand Hungary’s Paks nuclear reactor facility via Russian financing also indicates the Hungarian government’s closer relationship with Moscow.