Brussels, 27 October 2021 (TDI): Viktor Orban, Prime Minister of Hungary, reaffirmed Hungary’s unique stance on its relationship with Russia and its approach to the ongoing conflict in Ukraine during his arrival at a two-day EU leaders summit in Brussels on October 26, 2023.
Orban unveiled Hungary’s commitment to a peace strategy and mentioned that his recent meeting with Russian President Putin was aligned with this strategy.
He emphasized that Hungary maintains a positive relationship with Russia. Despite this relationship, he expressed Hungary’s dedication to promoting peace in Ukraine.
Hungary is the only European Union member country that has not publicly condemned Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Orban continued to avoid public condemnation during his statement. He openly criticized Western sanctions against Moscow and expressed strong opposition.
He also highlighted the geographical context of Hungary, Ukraine, and Russia, and emphasized the importance of staying connected with both neighboring countries based on Hungary’s peace strategy.
In addition, he stressed the importance of maintaining open channels with Russia as a means to achieve a peace agreement. He also called for a ceasefire between Ukraine and Russia.
Furthermore, Orban has a unique position in EU-Russian relations. He advocates for a peaceful resolution to the conflict in Ukraine. His approach is in contrast to the EU position which includes condemnation of Russia’s actions and the imposition of sanctions.
He stated that he was waiting for a Ukrainian team to come to Budapest for discussions regarding the removal of sanctions on the Hungarian bank OTP related to Russia. He clarified that Hungary would only lift its objection to releasing 500 million Euros from the European Peace Support Fund which supports sending weapons to Kyiv after these discussions.
Orban’s statement followed his meeting with Russian President Putin in Beijing during his official visit to China to attend the China Belt and Road Initiatives. Orban has been in power since 2010, with a previous term from 1998 to 2002.