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Orbán: Hungary is attempting to salvage everything possible in its relations with Russia

17 Oct, 2023
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Orbán: Hungary is attempting to salvage everything possible in its relations with Russia

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Russian President Vladimir Putin, who arrived in China on October 17 for the "One Belt, One Road" forum, held talks with Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán.

During the meeting, Putin stated that despite limited opportunities for contact in "today's geopolitical conditions," Russia maintains relations with many European countries, including Hungary.

"We know that our positions do not always coincide, but having the opportunity to exchange views not only on bilateral relations but also on the global situation, in my opinion, is always extremely important," Putin was quoted as saying by Interfax.

In response, Orbán stated that Hungary does not seek to confront Russia and wishes to preserve bilateral relations.

He said, "Hungary has never wanted to oppose Russia. On the contrary, Hungary's goal has always been to establish and expand mutual contacts, and we have succeeded in that. However, due to the military operation and sanctions, our relations have suffered greatly. We are trying to salvage everything we can."

"We have managed to save a lot of what we have achieved. No one likes to see the results of their past work nullified due to reasons they are not responsible for," Orbán added.

Viktor Orbán is considered to be Vladimir Putin's closest ally in Europe. In July 2022, the Hungarian Prime Minister spoke of the "failure of the West's anti-Russian strategy" and called for negotiations between the United States and Russia to end the war in Ukraine. In September of the same year, Orbán called for the lifting of sanctions against Russia.

In September 2023, Orbán stated that the Hungarian government "will not support Ukraine on any international issue" until the language rights of the Hungarian minority in western Ukraine are restored. He also mentioned that Hungarian authorities do not have an "insurmountable desire" to vote in favor of Ukraine's accession to the EU.

EU and NATO countries have repeatedly criticized Hungary for what they consider to be a lack of firmness in dealing with Russia and Putin. Hungary is one of the few EU countries that have refused to provide military assistance to Ukraine. Officially, Budapest has justified this decision by citing concerns for its own security.

The Odessa Journal

The Odessa Journal

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