“The fundamental difference lies elsewhere: according to the Hungarian Prime Minister, Russia is not an empire of evil (to put it simply) which is trampling all over international law and going against every moral value and rule. Overall, it is not even a terrorist or rogue state, nor the headquarters of the “global Antichrist” that should be negotiated with, only destroyed. The war, though condemnable, is not a “Manichean” struggle between light (Ukraine and the West) and darkness (Moscow, Putin, etc). Russia has limited, clear, and rational goals,” wrote Paweł Lisicki.Orbán’s first basic premise is that the war did not break out because Russia seeks to annex an unlimited number of nations – but rather because they felt threatened. They had legitimate reasons for this that were not just made up out of thin air.Moscow demanded two things: that Ukraine definitively renounce NATO membership and that NATO make a clear statement that Ukraine will not join the alliance. It is beside the point whether these demands are right or not, because in legal terms a country may join whatever alliance they please – this is how the Russians defined their sense of security. After seeing that both NATO and Ukraine rejected their demands, and noting that, as according to John Mearsheimer, American political scientist and international relations expert, “though not formally, Kiev practically was part of the alliance,” the Russians decided to strike.In Poland, this interpretation is called at best naivety, and at worst treason. According to their public opinion, Russian fear of NATO expansion was just an excuse.Orbán’s second principle is that Russia will not attack NATO on its own. Not necessarily because he believes they are so peaceful – they are not – but rather because they are fully aware of the power imbalance. They are attacking Ukraine now because it is not yet a member of NATO. “We are not dealing with evil which flows given its nature, but rather with Moscow’s
brutal, selfish calculations and their efforts to secure their own safety at the cost of violating the rights of others,” writes Lisicki.“In Poland, the predominant opinion is different: Ukraine is merely the first conquest which will be followed by other NATO members like Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia and even Poland.How do we know this? Because Russia is the “empire of evil”. It conquers because it must conquer. If Ukraine falls, Poland is next. That is why in Poland they love to compare Russia to the Third Reich.Yet if we look for historical analogies, today’s Russia is more similar to the weakening and declining Ottoman Empire of the second half of the XVIII. Century than to Hitler’s empire striving for world hegemony,”– pointed out Lisicki.