Orbàn and Putin end 2.5-hour talks in Kremlin


Russian President Vladimir Putin and Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbàn met for two and a half hours in the Kremlin on Friday.

Putin’s foreign policy adviser Yuri Ushakov said many topics had been discussed in what he called a very good atmosphere, especially Ukraine.

Putin recently made a proposal to end the war against Ukraine that he started more than two years ago, although he made the proposal conditional on Ukraine’s prior agreement to territorial concessions. Putin said he wanted to brief Orbàn on the details of his ideas.

Despite the Russian invasion, Orbàn still maintains good relations with the Kremlin leader, and Hungary continues to receive gas supplies from Russia. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov stressed that Orbàn had traveled to Russia on his own initiative. Putin repeatedly praised Orbàn for standing up for his country’s interests and not allowing himself to be dictated to.

Hungary currently holds the rotating EU presidency, but senior EU officials said Orbàn had no mandate to speak on behalf of the European Union during his trip to Moscow. He visited Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in Kiev earlier this week for the first time since the start of the war.

Ushakov said that Orbàn was received as the head of the Hungarian government and not as a representative of the EU. Putin, on the other hand, explicitly referred to Hungary’s EU position when he welcomed Orbàn.

According to Russian officials, Orbàn had no message from Zelensky for Putin.

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