Moscow, 3 February 2022 (TDI): Russian President, Vladimir Putin, met with the Prime Minister of Hungary, Victor Orban in Moscow.

The purpose of the meeting was the development of bilateral co-operation in energy, trade, economic and humanitarian areas. Besides, the meeting also focused on current European security issues. However, the meeting took place on February 1, 2022.

President Vladimir Putin extended his regards and said that he is very pleased to meet Hungary’s Prime Minister. In return, Prime Minister Victor Orban stated that it is a matter of great honor to meet the President of Russia.

It is pertinent to note that both leaders have not met since 2019. It was due to certain events that did not allow them to communicate normally. In this regard, President Vladimir Putin stated that direct dialogue and meeting is better than a telephonic exchange.

Along these lines, Prime Minister Victor Orban told Vladimir Putin that their first meeting took place 13 years ago. Certainly, that is very rare because most of their counterparts in EU countries are no longer holding their position. Prime Minister Victor Orban further said;

“So it happens that you and I have accumulated the most significant memories about the common past of Russia and the European Union over these 13 years. Frankly, I am not planning to quit. Our elections are scheduled for April. I am running again and hope to win”.

During the talk, Prime Minister Victor Orban said that Hungary is facing challenges in the field of vaccines and energy. But, Russian Federation helped them in both these fields.

Russia and Hungary Bilateral Co-operation

In particular, President Vladimir Putin mentioned a few significant things that strengthened both countries’ relations. Firstly, Russian Federation supplied Hungary with over 2 million doses of the vaccine.

Then, Russia registered Sputnik Light in Hungary. In addition, it is analyzing the transfer and production of technology of vaccines to Hungary as well. Moreover, Russian vaccines inoculated around 90,000 Hungarian citizens.

Secondly, the Russian President pointed out that trade between both countries has increased by 30 percent. This increase was recorded in the first 11 months of 2021. Indeed, it is a good sign for economic recovery.

Thirdly, President Putin highlighted that Russian Federation is continuously working on large-scale projects such as the Paks project. In this line, President noted that energy is a big part of the cooperation between both states. Similarly, Hungary receives 55 percent of oil and 80 percent of natural gas from Russia.

Fourthly, Russian Federation is also collaborating in the field of engineering. President Putin highlighted the joint contract which is supposed to build carriages for Egypt. Therefore, President Putin believes that conditions are developing in this sector.

In 2021, Gazprom signed two contracts for the supply of natural gas from Russia to Hungary through to 2036. This has confirmed the stability of the project as well. In addition to that, Russian gas to Hungary is five times cheaper as compared to the market price in Europe.

Lastly, President Putin exchanged views on matters related to European security. He further reiterated that Russia has sent proposals to NATO and United States. In return, Russia is expecting concrete replies and legally binding security guarantees.

In this regard, Prime Minister Victor Orban said that this is a worrisome issue in Europe. He further remarked that his current visit is a part of his mission of peace. He also reassured that no European leader wants to go to war.

In brief, Europe favors a political solution that underlies the beneficial agreements. Lastly, both leaders hope to continue the course of collaboration in various fields, especially the supply of energy and vaccines.