Why Still Pro-Russia? Making Sense of Hungary’s and Serbia’s Russia Stance

Loading Events

« All Events

  • This event has passed.

Why Still Pro-Russia? Making Sense of Hungary’s and Serbia’s Russia Stance

30 January @ 3:00 pm - 4:00 pm

Following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, the European Union and the rest of the international community have imposed unprecedented sanctions against Russia. Despite an overwhelming consensus that Russia should be punished for its actions, some countries have stood out in their response to the invasion. Notably, Serbia has not imposed any sanctions against Russia, and despite the overwhelming pressures to do so, President Vucic continues to argue that cutting ties with Russia remains off the table. Hungary, whilst aligning itself with the rest of the EU on sanctions passed, continues to frustrate the international community’s public efforts to fight against Russia with Prime Minister Orban often saying that sanctions should be withdrawn. But why is this the case, and what is actually driving this pro-Russian sentiment in Serbia and ambivalent attitude in Hungary?

In the latest report published by The Henry Jackson Society, Professor Marlene Laruelle and Dr Helena Ivanov argue that pro-Russian sentiment is, at least partly, caused by disappointment in the West. To substantiate their argument, they have conducted polling on a representative sample in Serbia and Hungary and produced two distinct policy recommendations for Western politicians and diplomats to consider as they try to work with Hungary and Serbia for future goals.



Florian Bieber is a Professor of Southeast European History and Politics and Director of the Centre for Southeast European Studies at the University of Graz, Austria. He holds a Jean Monnet Chair in the Europeanisation of Southeastern Europe. He is the coordinator of the Balkans in Europe Policy Advisory Group (BiEPAG) and has been working and living in Hungary, Serbia, Bosnia, USA, UK and Austria. He studied Political Science and History at Trinity College (USA), the University of Vienna, and Central European University (Budapest).

He has worked for the European Centre for Minority Issues and taught at Kent University (UK). He is also a Visiting Professor at the Nationalism Studies Program at CEU. He has been a Visiting Fellow at the LSE and New York University, and held the Luigi Einaudi Chair at Cornell University. Recent publications include Debating Nationalism (Bloomsbury 2020), The Rise of Authoritarianism in the Western Balkans (Palgrave 2020) and Negotiating Unity and Diversity in the European Union (Palgrave 2021, with Roland Bieber).



Helena Ivanov is an associate research fellow at the Henry Jackson Society.  She recently completed a PhD in International Relations at the London School of Economics and Political Science. Her research focuses on the relationship between propaganda and violence against civilians. In her thesis, Helena examined the role propaganda played during the Yugoslav Wars and produced a model for studying propaganda which details the key phases, functions, discourses, and techniques of propaganda (the model itself is applicable to other contexts). Additionally, Helena also served as a Manager at the Centre for International Studies at the LSE.

Prior to her PhD, Helena completed an MPhil in Political Theory at the University of Oxford, and holds a BA in Politics from the University of Belgrade.



Professor Dr Marlene Laruelle is a Director and Research Professor at The Institute for European, Russian, and Eurasian Studies (IERES), The Elliot School of International Affairs, The George Washington University. At the IERES she is also Director of the Illiberalism Studies Program and of the Russia Program, a Co-Director of PONARS (Program on New Approaches to Research and Security in Eurasia), and the founder of the Central Asia Program. Dr Laruelle received her PhD in history at The National Institute of Oriental Languages and Cultures (INALCO) and her post-doctoral degree in political science at Sciences-Po in Paris. She has widely published on Russia’s ideologies and nationalism, on Russia’s foreign policy and soft power strategies, and has published 10 monographs, the last one being Is Russia Fascist? Unravelling Propaganda East and West (Cornell University Press). She is currently the editor of The Oxford Handbook of Illiberalism, to be released in 2023.



Lord Bethell is a British parliamentarian with a strong history of support for those fighting oppression. He has worked in the US Senate, the European Commission, as a supporter of the Conservative Party and for UK thinktanks. He served as Minister for Health during the pandemic and as a Whip in the House of Lords. He is a member of IPAC and the Conservative Research Group on China.


You can RSVP for your e-tickets HERE.



30 January
3:00 pm - 4:00 pm


Professor Florian Bieber, Dr Helena Ivanov, Professor Marlene Laruelle, Lord Bethell


The Russian Invasion of Ukraine as a Historical Inevitability and Its Possible Ramifications

7 February @ 5:00 pm - 6:00 pm

At different times, Russia has justified the invasion of Ukraine as a response to Ukrainian nationalism, Ukrainian genocide of Russians and NATO enlargement. With all reasons voiced by the Kremlin debunked over … Continued

Understanding the Political Quagmire in Israel

8 February @ 3:00 pm - 4:00 pm

Israel is in the grips of a new political reality as the new government—described as the most right-wing in Israel’s history—takes the helm of a complicated set of priorities and … Continued



Lost your password?

Not a member? Please click here