“Just Business,” Not Appeasement

As Prime Minister Viktor Orban Meets President Vladimir Putin

Viktor Orbán with Vladimir Putin in their February 2016 meeting.

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By Ravi Batra
Publisher  and Editor-in-chief
February 7, 2022, New  York.

Inflation  Frightens Democracy.

February 1, 2022 Meeting in Moscow. Hungary’s Prime Minister Orbán met Russia’s President Putin, and got energy security for Hungary, and as an electoral bonus: at least slowing, if not stopping, energy-inflation. That elections in Hungary are around the corner – and as Speaker Tip O’Neill famously said, “all politics is local” – motivated a democratically-elected leader to secure to his voters affordable and plentiful energy. Ask any elected leader, anywhere in the world, what energy-inflation can do to voters and, worse, outlaws. Kazakhstan’s President Tokayev is Exhibit A, a front page story of The America Times January 2022 issue. Our own Mid-term elections in 2022 are going to be skewed by the near one-third price hike per-gallon of gas at the pump, while making the Consumer Price Index an irrelevant political talking point.

President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyi (left) and NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg. Brussels, 16 December 2021.
Credit: CC BY-SA 4.0

“Just Business.”

That he so acted would be reprehensible, if he was in Neville Chamberlain-Appeasement mode or being a Benedict Arnold to NATO, EU or us, in the United States. But he wasn’t. His Meeting and Agreement was “just business.”

Free-for-all.

Its worth recalling that we, the so-called West, are not speaking with One Voice. Indeed, we have made it our policy – and forcefully announced by Secretary Tony Blinken, working around-the­ clock and around-the-globe:  “nothing about Ukraine, without Ukraine” and “nothing about Europe, without Europe.” Indeed, Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky is in direct talks with Russia, as are Germany’s Chancellor Olaf Scholz, Britain’s Prime Minister Boris Johnson, Italy’s Prime Minister Mario Draghi; and France’s President Emmanuel Macron is visiting President Putin in Moscow, to find peace for all of Europe, including, Russia, and suggested Finlandization of Ukraine, which would give Russia veto power over Ukraine’s political and security choices. And, then there is SG Jen Stoltenberg of NATO, convening the Russia Council, and OSCE, chaired by Poland’s Foreign Minister Zbigniew Rau. All working in earnest to keep Europe secure and free of war. Still, the West’s free-for-all capacity to negotiate is as helpful as President Putin’s “Red Lines,” without any demarcation on any map for months – save one clarity on February 1st, during the joint Orbán-Putin press conference, that Ukraine not become a member of NATO, be armed with NATO-weapons and Article 5, and seek to re-take Crimea by force. This, President Putin said, could lead to a war between Russia and the NATO nations. At least one “Red Line” is now defined, for diplomacy to do, what it does best: create a win-win solution.

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken gaving a speech in Berlin about a potential Russian invasion of Ukraine, 20 January 2022. Credit: Public domain

Empires and History.

Of course, the history of the former Austro-Hungarian Empire – spread over a large part of Central Europe comprised of present-day Austria and Hungary as well as the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Slovenia, Bosnia, Croatia and parts of present Poland, Romania, Italy, Ukraine, Moldova, Serbia and Montenegro – provides a reduced-friction connection between Hungary’s Prime Minister and Russia’s President, as skiing is on snow in Beijing. As empires go, the Russian empire was no stranger to Hungary or to us, as we purchased Alaska in 1867 from the Russian Czar Alexander II, after his Crimean war ended with the 1865 Treaty of Paris.

Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken meets with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov in Geneva, Switzerland, on January 21, 2022. Credit: State Department photo by Ron Przysucha/ Public Domain

Checkers  and Chessboard.

Lastly, with one set of Russian Troops, keeping Ukraine’s borders warm in the Russian Winter, President Putin, along with his Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, has been busy in discussions with President Biden and many leaders of Europe, NATO, EU and OSCE, to address – in a literal and linear manner – his multiple Red Lines. And, then on February 4, 2022, the world’s chessboard changed for the 21st Century in Beijing, with the “No Limits” China-Russia Partnership, and most importantly, “No Forbidden Zones.” Checkers with the West, and Chess in Beijing. Given its gravity, that is a stand-alone topic to be covered separately and respectfully.

Ravi Batra, Esq.
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Ravi Batra, starting September 11, 2021, is a publisher of The America Times Company Ltd., and since January 2022, is the Editor-in-Chief. He is a member of the National Press Club, in Washington D.C., and a member of its "Freedom of the Press" and "International Correspondents" Teams/Committees.

A member of the bar since 1981, he is the head of a boutique law firm in Manhattan, The Law Firm of Ravi Batra, P.C., that handles complex constitutional, sovereignty, torture, civil and criminal cases, representing governments, corporates and individuals, with landmark legal victories, including, libel in fiction, in “Batra v. Dick Wolf.” He is Chairman & CEO, Greenstar Global Energy Corp., King Danylo of Galicia International Ltd., Mars & Pax Advisors, Ltd., Chairman of National Advisory Council on South Asian Affairs, and since September 2021, Advisor for Legal and Humanitarian Affairs to the Permanent Mission of Georgia to the United Nations. He is invited by various governments to address High Level Ministerial events, including, on Counter-Terrorism, including, Astana (Nur-Sultan), Dushanbe, Minsk and Delhi. He has testified in Congress as an invitee of the Chair, U.S. House Foreign Affairs Committee, and interacted with U.S. Department of State from 1984 -1990, and then again, from 2006, during the tenures of Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, Hillary Clinton, John Kerry, Rex Tillerson, Mike Pompeo and Antony Blinken.

He has served as Commissioner of New York State Joint Commission on Public Ethics (JCOPE), Trustee on New York State IOLA Board, New York State Judicial Screening Committee for the Second Judicial Department, City Bar’s Judicial Committee, Vice-Chair of Kings County Democratic County Committee’s Independent Judicial Screening Committee for the then-2nd Judicial Department of Brooklyn and Staten Island, Chair of NYSTLA’ Judicial Independence Committee, with many more bar leadership roles, including, NYSBA’s House of Delegates for four years. He has served as Advisor for Legal & Human Rights Affairs to the Permanent Mission of Ukraine post-annexation of Crimea till 2021, and Legal Advisor to numerous nations’ permanent missions to the U. N. since 2009, including, India, Pakistan, Honduras and Malta. He has served: as Global Special Counsel to The Antonov Company in Ukraine, a state-owned company, and was registered with the Justice Dept pursuant to FARA; and as Special Global Advisor to Rector/President of both - National Aviation University of Ukraine and National Technical University of Ukraine/KPI. He remains involved in geopolitics and public policy since the mid-1980's, starting with being on House Speaker Tip O’Neill’s Speaker’s Club and appointed member of NACSAA during President Ronald Reagan’s tenure. In 1988, he was part of U.S. Attorney General Ed Meese’s Delegation to Japan to resolve bilateral trade imbalance. He regularly interacts with the multilateral diplomatic community, and during the High Level UNGA Debate, with heads of State/Government. He is sought for his views as a speaker and writer. 

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