Hungarian PM Orban meets with Putin in Russia

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban met with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Russia as part of what he calls a "peace mission."

Publication: 06.07.2024 - 12:08
Hungarian PM Orban meets with Putin in Russia
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Orban's visit to Moscow on July 2 follows a surprise visit to Kyiv, where he met with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. This mission, which Hungary initiated immediately after taking over the EU presidency, has drawn criticism from European Union officials. Orban met with Putin at the Kremlin.


Before their meeting, Putin shook hands with Orban and noted, "This time, I see you have come not only as our long-term partner but also as the President of the EU Council."

During the open part of the meeting, Putin said, "I hope we can discuss bilateral relations under these challenging circumstances. Of course, I also hope we can talk about the perspectives on developments in Ukraine, Europe's biggest crisis. I look forward to hearing your position and that of our European partners."

Orban thanked Putin for meeting with him "under such difficult circumstances." He stated, "The number of countries that can speak with both sides of the conflict is decreasing. Soon, Hungary will be the only country in Europe that can talk to all sides."


Reacting to the news, EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell stated that Orban did not represent the EU in any capacity during his visit to Moscow. Borrell emphasized that Orban did not receive any mandate from the EU Council for his visit. "The EU's stance on Russia's war of aggression against Ukraine is reflected in many of the European Council's conclusions. Therefore, the Hungarian Prime Minister does not represent the EU in any way," Borrell said.

Borrell also reminded that Putin is accused by the International Criminal Court and has an arrest warrant against him.

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen posted on social media, "Putin cannot be stopped by making concessions. Only unity and determination can pave the way for a comprehensive, just, and lasting peace in Ukraine."


Lithuanian President Gitanas Nausėda stated that Orban's unilateral decision to visit Moscow does not represent or shape the EU's position. "This also undermines the credibility of Hungary's EU Presidency. If you truly want peace, you don't shake hands with a bloody dictator, but rather dedicate all your efforts to supporting Ukraine," Nausėda said.


Former French President Nicolas Sarkozy expressed support for Orban, stating that a military solution to the war in Ukraine is not possible. "Peace can only be achieved through diplomatic negotiations. In the end, the decision will be made by the parties involved. But the first step should be to re-establish communication channels. The Hungarian Prime Minister is doing the right thing by working on this issue," Sarkozy said.

Hungarian media reported that Viktor Orban's "one-man peace mission" has insulted Brussels' honor.