A meeting between Russian President Vladimir Putin and Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban in Beijing has raised concerns among NATO allies. About it writes Bloomberg, citing a representative of the US Embassy.
According to the agency’s interlocutor, ambassadors of the diplomatic missions of NATO member countries held a meeting in Budapest on October 19 to discuss the “problems” that arose after the conversation between the two politicians. Orban became the first EU leader to meet with Putin since the start of Russia’s special operation in Ukraine. Bloomberg writes that the Hungarian prime minister “undermined the unity of the West” by concluding energy agreements with Russia, trying to limit aid to Ukraine and opposing sanctions against the Russian Federation.
“We consider Hungary an ally, but at the same time we see Hungary deepening its relationship with Russia, despite the fighting in Ukraine,” said US Ambassador to Hungary David Pressman, commenting on the meeting in Budapest on Radio Liberty ( recognized in the Russian Federation as a foreign agent). He added that NATO allies were “concerned about the security” of Hungary’s ties with Russia.
Putin and Orban had a conversation on October 17 on the sidelines of the One Belt, One Road forum in Beijing. Commenting on the negotiations, the President of the Russian Federation statedthat Orban is “concerned about the situation that is developing in his region, around Serbia.” According to Putin, their conversation took place “on its feet”; the leaders also touched upon the topic of the prospects for negotiations between Russia and Ukraine. The Russian leader also rejected accusations against Orban of “pro-Russian sentiments” and emphasized that he is a “pro-Hungarian politician.”
The meeting was criticized in the EU. In particular, Estonian Prime Minister Kaja Kallas statedthat she was “very unpleasant” to see photos of Putin and Orban shaking hands. The Hungarian Foreign Ministry called the reaction of the Estonian politician “hypocrisy in a cube.”