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Hungarian Prime Minister Orbán officially arrives in Moscow

The European Union has explicitly stated that Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban does not represent the bloc during his visit to Moscow.
Orban Putin Bejing
Viktor Orban and Vladimir Putin in Beijing on 17 October 2023. Photo: Radio Free Europe
Hungarian Prime Minister Orbán officially arrives in Moscow

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban has arrived in Moscow to talk with Russian leader Vladimir Putin.

Russian state media RIA Novosti, citing the Hungarian prime minister’s press service, reported Orban’s arrival. The head of Orban’s press service also confirmed to Hungarian state news agency MTI that Orban is in Moscow and will meet with Putin.

“A plane from Hungary landed at Vnukovo against the backdrop of media reports about a possible visit of Hungarian Prime Minister Orban to Russia,” Russian Telegram channels reported.

Hungarian journalist Szabolcs Panyi shared the government plane’s route on X. 

The visit comes shortly after Orban’s trip to Kyiv, where he met with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy.

According to a statement from Kyiv on 2 July, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy rejected a suggestion from Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban to consider a ceasefire in Ukraine after their meeting. The Hungarian Prime Minister argued that a time-limited ceasefire could accelerate peace negotiations.

Orban claimed that his current role as EU Council president does not give him authority to negotiate between Ukraine and Russia on behalf of the bloc. “I don’t need a mandate because I don’t represent anything,” Orban said, according to reports.

The Office of the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy said that Orban’s visit to Moscow is strictly within the framework of bilateral relations between Hungary and Russia.

“Prime Minister Orban has not received any mandate from the EU Council to visit Moscow,” the statement read.

European Council President Charles Michel reinforced this stance on social media, stating that “the rotating EU presidency has no mandate to engage with Russia on behalf of the EU.”

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