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Talks with Prime Minister of Hungary Viktor Orban

July 5, 2024, The Kremlin, Moscow

Vladimir Putin held talks in the Kremlin with Prime Minister of Hungary Viktor Orban, who has arrived in Russia on a working visit.

On the Russian side, attending the meeting are Presidential Aide Yury Ushakov, Presidential Aide Vladimir Medinsky and Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.

* * *

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

Welcome to Moscow, to Russia.

I know that this time you have come not only as our long-standing partner, but also as the President of the Council of the European Union. I hope we will have the opportunity to exchange views on building bilateral relations in this difficult situation and, of course, to discuss the possible scenarios for the largest European crisis – I am referring to Ukraine.

I know that quite recently, on July 2, I think, you visited Kiev, and now you have come here to discuss in detail the situation that has arisen in Ukraine. I am at your disposal.

You are probably aware of my recent address to top officials of the Foreign Ministry here in Moscow, which summarised our stance with regard to the possible peace settlement. And of course, I am ready to discuss some of the details with you or explain them to you. I hope you will acquaint me with your personal stance and the stance of the European partners.

As for bilateral relations, unfortunately, we have seen a serious decline in trade, by more than 35 percent. But in general, there is much to work on. We are implementing ambitious projects.

In any case, we are delighted to see you and we have much to discuss.

Welcome, Mr Prime Minister.

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

Thank you for meeting with me today. This is far from our first meeting over the past decade; in fact, it is the 11th one. But this meeting is more critical than the previous ones.

As you have mentioned, Hungary took over the rotating presidency of the EU Council on July 1. Our last meeting was before the war; we met in February 2022. This is exactly why these two meetings are different.

I am very grateful to you for agreeing to see me even in such a difficult situation. I must tell you that the number of countries that can talk to both sides of this conflict is rapidly declining. Hungary will probably be the only country in Europe soon that will be able to talk to all parties. I would like to take this opportunity to discuss a number of important issues with you. I would also like to find out your opinion on several matters that are important for Europe.

Thank you.

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July 5, 2024, The Kremlin, Moscow