Vladimir Putin and Viktor Orbán in Moscow – Photo: Kremlin

Foreign minister: Orbán’s visit to Moscow ‘breaks ice’

Hungary's foreign minister has hailed Prime Minister Viktor Orbán's meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin last week as a success, saying the summit had triggered a major wave of dialogue between Russia and the West, which was the only way to settle the situation in Ukraine peacefully.

Peter Szijjarto noted after an online foreign ministerial conference of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe that French President Emmanuel Macron and Putin had consulted for five hours on Monday. He also said that the British foreign and defence secretaries would visit Moscow in the days to come, and the German chancellor next week, the foreign ministry said in a statement.

“We are happy to see that the prime minister’s ice-breaking mission proved to be a success, with European leaders appearing one after the other in the Kremlin,” he said.

Szijjarto expressed support for the renewed European security dialogue initiated by the Polish OSCE presidency, saying that the current tension could only be eased through a dialogue.

Hungary as a central European nation has a vested interest in East-West cooperation instead of a return to the Cold War psyche which caused a great deal of suffering to the region, he said.

The minister asked the global political players “to continue their civilised dialogue based on mutual respect and refrain from hasty decisions whose brunt would be borne by the population of central Europe”.

Szijjarto said that Hungary as a neighbouring country had an interest in a strong and stable Ukraine and in Kiev putting an end to its anti-Hungarian policies.

“Continuation of such policies would strongly limit the Hungarian government’s freedom of decision on future support for Ukraine,” Szijjarto said.

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