Orban meets Putin in Moscow, angering EU

Hungarian Prime Minister, viktor urbanThis morning he met his Russian counterpart in the Kremlin. Russian President Vladimir Putinon a surprise trip to Moscow that caused a stir. EU discomfort.

A European leader’s flight to Russia—a sanctioned state that the 27 nations consider an aggressor in its invasion of Ukraine—would already generate a sea of ​​cash in EU chancelleries. But make the trip the week after Orban has opened his rotating presidency of the Council of the European Union. It dropped like a bomb in Brussels. In fact, Orbán had already met Putin months earlier. But it was at a bilateral meeting in Beijing, during a meeting of countries linked by China’s so-called “Silk Road.”

The European Union and NATO distance themselves from Orban.

Charles MichelThe president of the European Council, which brings together the leaders of the 27 member states, reacted strongly when the trip was announced late on Thursday, adding that “the rotating presidency of the European Union does not have a mandate to engage in dialogue with Russia on behalf of the European Union.”

The EU foreign policy chief responded that “Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s visit to Moscow takes place exclusively within the framework of bilateral relations between Hungary and Russia. The Hungarian Prime Minister does not represent the European Union in any way.” Joseph Borrell.

Viktor Orban’s visit to Vladimir Putin has surprised many EU leaders (Reuters/Evgenia Novozinina)

This is what the NATO Secretary General did. Jens StoltenbergWhich led to the Hungarian Prime Minister being removed from any position or mandate in NATO, to which Hungary belongs.

Putin greets EU ‘representative’

If Brussels was quick to isolate Orban from any EU initiative, the Kremlin did the opposite. This is how Vladimir Putin asked Viktor Orban to be in the Russian capital:

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“I understand that you come this time not only as a lifelong partner, but as President of the Council of the European Union.”

In this way, the Kremlin was enjoying the discomfort, even the indignation, caused by Orban’s move. Some European leaders, as they discovered in the last hour of the trip, They tried to dissuade the Hungarian Prime Minister in vain.However, the NATO secretary general admitted that he had been warned about the exodus, which surprised many of the bloc’s leaders.

Search for “quick peace”

Viktor Orban has said that his initiative is solely linked to the search for peace, and although he distances the trip from his position, he mentions it when talking about his meeting with Putin.

“You cannot make peace from a comfortable chair in Brussels,” he told his country’s public radio. “Even if the rotating EU presidency does not have a mandate to negotiate on behalf of the EU, we cannot sit back and wait for the war to miraculously end.”

Urban, who He actually traveled a few days ago as a surprise to Ukraine.In his first trip since Hungary took over the rotating presidency of the Council of the European Union, he is sticking to positions that are often contemporary with the Kremlin.

There is no EU flag in the room where Putin and Orban appeared (Reuters/Evgenia Novozinina)

This is what Putin reiterated to his Hungarian counterpart on Friday. Conditions for a “cessation” of war: That Kiev withdraws from the four regions that Moscow considers its own: Donetsk, Luhansk, Zaporizhia and Kherson; a real surrender from the Ukrainian point of view.

Today’s visit comes a few days before NATO Heads of State and Government – including the Hungarian Prime Minister – are meeting in Washington, with renewed support for Ukraine and tightening relations with Russia on the agenda.

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