Orban ‘proud’ of meeting with Putin

Viktor Orban
Viktor Orban

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban said he is “proud” of his recent meeting with Russian dictator Vladimir Putin in China, Reuters reported on Oct. 26.

Read also: In Beijing, Hungarian PM Orban holds first talks with Putin since invasion of Ukraine

“We would like to do everything to have peace,” said Orban, addressing journalists in Brussels.

He highlighted Hungary’s commitment to a “strategy for peace,” contrasting it with what he described as the rest of Europe’s “strategy for war,” as quoted by DW correspondent Finlay Duncan.

“Therefore we keep open all the communication lines to the Russians, otherwise there will be no chance for peace; this is a strategy, we are proud of it,” the PM said.

“We are the only ones to speak on behalf and in favor of peace, which would be in the interest of everybody in Europe.”

Orban’s remarks came on the sidelines of the EU leaders’ summit in Brussels, in which Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy participated remotely.

Read also: Hungarian president sidesteps Orban to reset relations with Ukraine — report

An unnamed diplomat told the AP that “some leaders will openly discuss the extremely negative consequences” of Orban’s meeting with Putin.

The Guardian had previously reported on Orban’s increasing isolation within the EU, noting that Budapest’s actions are raising growing concerns within the bloc.

The Hungarian leader held a meeting with Russian dictator Vladimir Putin in China on Oct. 17, marking the first such meeting since Russia invaded Ukraine in 2022. Notably, Orban was the sole EU leader in attendance.

Read also: Putin’s meeting with Orban meant to undermine European unity – Czech president

The Hungarian PM’s actions have drawn sharp criticism from both Ukrainian and Western political figures, culminating in ambassadors from NATO members and Sweden convening for an emergency meeting to discuss the situation.

Orban has consistently promoted Russian propaganda narratives and voiced opposition to providing assistance to Ukraine, stating previously that Hungary would not support Kyiv in any international matters until “Ukraine restores the former rights of ethnic Hungarians on its territory.”

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