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Vladimir Putin visits Viktor Orbán

Orbán and Putin Discuss EU Relations, Ukraine Crisis

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán and Russian President Vladimir Putin discussed means to mend Russia’s relationship with the EU and solve the crisis in Ukraine at a meeting of the two politicians in Budapest. Putin, who has met regularly with Orbán since 2013, visited Budapest on October 30 . “Hungary has a vested interest in improving the cooperation between the West and Russia; if relations between East and West are bad, Hungary suffers. But if relations are good, Hungary benefits,” Orbán said at a joint press conference after the meeting. The two leaders talked about bilateral trade, the importance of an improved NATO-Russia relationship, stability in the Middle East, and the two countries’ commitment to protecting Christians around the world. The volume of bilateral trade increased for the first time in 2018 since the implementation of international sanctions against Russia. Hungary’s EU and NATO membership doesn’t rule out cooperation with Russia, the Hungarian premier noted. The Russian President stressed that for several years there has been a mechanism in place that ensures successful cooperation between the two countries at the highest level, particularly in terms of trade and economic relations. He added that efforts are being made to diversify economic relations, although energy remains the priority. The Hungarian and Russian parties signed eight bilateral agreements related to inter-regional cooperation, social security, collaboration in the fields of oncology, sports and physical education as well as rail transport, according to a statement published by Orbán’s press office. The two sides also signed a reinsurance agreement between Eximbank and the Russian export insurance agency Exiar, and cooperation agreements between Samara Oblast and Győr-Moson-Sopron County as well as Mol, Lukoil and Transneft regarding future oil supplies.

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