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Meeting with Prime Minister of Hungary Viktor Orban

July 15, 2018, The Kremlin, Moscow

Vladimir Putin met with Prime Minister of Hungary Viktor Orban to discuss current issues of the two countries' cooperation.

Attending the meeting on the Russian side were Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, Presidential Aide Yury Ushakov, and Healthcare Minister and Co-Chair of the Russian-Hungarian Intergovernmental Commission on Economic Cooperation Veronika Skvortsova.

* * *

President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Mr Prime Minister, colleagues,

Welcome to Moscow.

You have kept your promise and came for the World Cup final. There is nothing surprising about that since we all know you as a good footballer who loves football.

I hope you will enjoy today's match.

Of course, I am glad to have this opportunity to talk to you about some current issues. Our cooperation has been developing successfully. Last year, our mutual trade grew by 25 percent, event slightly more, according to our data. During this year's first three months, it showed the same growth.

As a result, the revenues of our Hungarian partners who work on the Russian market are increasing as well. Our major projects in energy and nuclear power are underway according to plans.

I note with satisfaction that we have diversified cooperation, for instance, in pharmaceutics and engineering. One of your companies has 4 percent of the Russian market in terms of medication deliveries and production. This is a very good indicator.

We have a lot to talk about. I am very glad to see you.

Prime Minister of Hungary Viktor Orban (retranslated): Mr President,

I would like to thank you for the opportunity to be here. My congratulations on the wonderful World Cup and the professional organisation of this event. Those who were unable to attend it should regret it. But I am not my own enemy; I am very glad to be here.

Also, I have had an opportunity, for the first time in my life, to spend two full days in St Petersburg and three days Moscow. This is the first time in my life that I have had this wonderful opportunity. These two cities are diamonds of the European civilisation. I do not quite understand those who are eager to travel from Budapest to visit the Vienna State Opera but do not want to visit the Bolshoi Theatre, which is a gem of European culture. Naturally, both cities made a deep impression on me.

There was also a political aspect to my visit: I left for the NATO Summit straight from St Petersburg.

As regards bilateral relations, we also think that they are progressing well. Thank you, Mr President, for mentioning this. Frankly, if it were not for the sanctions, which are causing damage, we could be advancing even faster. Of course, these measures are harmful, and we are missing many opportunities. I would like to assure you, Mr President, that we support the normalisation of relations between Russia and the West.

Vladimir Putin: Thank you very much for your kind words and for your view of Moscow and St Petersburg’s importance for European and world culture. But we know that Hungary has at least two such diamonds: Buda and Pest. There are others as well.


July 15, 2018, The Kremlin, Moscow