In 2009, after the escalation of the Georgian-Russian crisis, Political Capital was among the first to call attention to the positive orientation towards Russia of East European far-right parties. Subsequently, in April 2014 Political Capital indicated that with the assistance of European far-right parties' pro-Russian policies, the promotion of Russian interests couched in national colors is proliferating throughout Europe, and also demonstrated that with their votes cast in the European Parliament, far-right and far-left parties pledge allegiance to Putin and his regime. The Russian state's political influence across Europe has clearly increased in recent years, on the "mainstream" and the extreme side as well. According to the newly published study of Political Capital, Hungarian far-right party Jobbik is among Europe's staunchest allies for Kremlin.
While the Orbán-cabinet pursues a pendulum politics, it is of outmost importance for the Kremlin to exert influence on the Hungarian far-right and especially on Jobbik, which has become the country's largest opposition force. In addition, the Kremlin has a vested interest in pushing the political spectrum in a more Kremlin-friendly direction and exacerbating public discontent with the West.
Kremlin finds the Hungarian far-right extremely valuable, for at least three reasons. First, Russian stakeholders can channel more direct influence on Jobbik than on Fidesz. Jobbik's foreign policy standpoint can be almost totally derived from Russian interests, so as their energy policy relying totally on Russian gas and nuclear energy. Second, Jobbik is gaining popularity, and after an electoral success on a by-election in Hungary when they came first in an indivuidual constituency, they have a strong chance to become governmental force in the future. Third, Russia has a vested interest in exacerbating public discontent with the West, and indirectly destabilizing the European Union from inside, and Jobbik proves to be a useful tool for these attempts.
Jobbik, a party of university students established in 2003 reaching out to almost 20% of the total Hungarian electorate, advocates not only the Russian position uninhibitedly, but seems to be a tool of the information warfare and secret service machinery of the Kremlin, with a member of the European Parliament, Béla Kovács, who is charged with espionage to Moscow and her wife having strong connections to Russian secret services. Along with several others far-right forces in European Union such as Front National in France, Golden Dawn in Greece or the Freedom Party in Austria, Jobbik not only helps in the division, destabilization and de-legitimization of the EU and its member states, but also in the legitimization of the Russian regime, for example with election observers at Kremlin-organized elections. Similarly to other European far-right parties, Jobbik also legitimizes the Russian regime by sharing a set of conservative ideological values with Russia's current official state ideology. By them, the EU is seen as a declining institution and a puppet of the US, while the Eurasian Union envisioned by Russia is a realistic, value-based alternative. At the EU-Russian Interparliamentary Work Group's 2013 meeting in Kaliningrad, MEP Béla Kovács asked a representative of the Russian Federation Council: "What is the future possibility of an EU member state initiating accession talks with the Eurasian Union?" Jobbik would certainly "reassess" Hungarian membership in NATO, calling for a referendum, and would rather favor "neutrality" of the country in the conflict between West and Russia. In order to help spread pro-Russian views regarding the Ukranian conflict, the party launched a series of public discussions in Hungary in 2014. Also, Jobbik consecutively tries to put pressure on the Hungarian government in order not to fulfill its EU and NATO duties, which in this case involves stepping up against Russia.