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Géza Jeszenszky

GÉZA JESZENSZKY (Budapest, 1941): D. Phil., historian, graduated from Eötvös Loránd University in Budapest. From 1976 to 2011, he taught at what is today Corvinus University of Budapest. He was a Fulbright Visiting Professor at UC Santa Barbara in 1984–86, and has taught the history of international relations and of Central Europe at numerous other universities in the US and Europe. He was Foreign Minister of Hungary in the first non- Communist government (1990–94), and Ambassador to the United States of America in 1998–2002. At present, he is Hungary’s Ambassador to the Kingdom of Norway and to the Republic of Iceland. He is the author of numerous publications on history and foreign policy; his latest book in English is Post-Communist Europe and its National/Ethnic Problems (Budapest, 2009). He is an editorial adviser for Hungarian Review.


23 September 2018
"There is no doubt that the conflict was started by Russia and the seizure of the Crimea was a most serious breach of international law. Helping the Russians of the Crimea was certainly only a pretext. The annexation boosted the popularity of Putin in Russia. Who can realistically imagine that any future Russian leader will return the peninsula to Ukraine? Sanctions will not lead to such a result, and I think there is a justified fear that the United States and the EU will sooner or later swallow the annexation so as to appease Russia."

19 January 2018
"[…] if the Hungarians in Subcarpathia can grow up in their own culture, enjoy equal rights, do not face hostile propaganda and provocations (as they often do today), they will feel themselves more at home in their ancestral land. If they are treated as dangerous enemies (as recent demonstrations suggested) they will certainly not love Ukraine and its language, and may even feel forced to emigrate to Hungary. Is that the aim?"

14 September 2017
"Following the election of Donald Trump as President of the United States, there were fears — based on both his pre- and post-elections statements — that the new administration may really consider NATO outdated and Article 5, the pledge to defend any of the allies against aggression, may no longer be valid. Following the President’s recent foreign tours observers have had to modify the picture of Trump’s relationship to Europe."

10 March 2016
"It might sound over-optimistic, but I think that the present apparently deep political divisions in Europe can be bridged with determination and goodwill. In the short run the decisions reached unanimously at the EU Summit on 19 February, strengthening the Schengen borders, flying bona fide refugees from Turkey to Europe and distributing them not by quotas but accepting them on a voluntary base, is a rational solution that could work."

13 January 2015
"'Nations have no permanent friends or allies, they only have permanent interests.' Lord Palmerston formulated this maxim more than once. It has since become a commonplace, equally valid for Great Powers and for smaller states like Hungary. But first every nation has to make up its mind what those interests are. Peace and 8 HUNGARIAN REVIEW | January 2015 prosperity – that is the basic interest of all sensible countries. But how to achieve and maintain that – here is the rub, this is the crux of the matter."

18 September 2014
"A year ago the fear persisted among many Central Europeans that they may be regarded by the US as expendable. It may have been difficult for the US to drop them as allies, but less so to simply neglect them."

14 March 2014
"Horthy in his Memoirs wrote that when Hitler told him that Germany would occupy Hungary, he should have shot the dictator. Why did he not do that, he had a pistol on him..."

18 May 2013
"The communist utopia which once fired the imagination of millions in search of a better life turned into a brutal dictatorship and caused enormous suffering, the violent death of tens of millions of innocent victims, before ending fully discredited."

Past and Future
25 July 2011

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