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Orbán scheduled to visit Putin on February 17, paper says

Prime Minister Viktor Orbán is scheduled to visit Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow on February 17 to discuss the Paks nuclear plant upgrade and other shared concerns, according to a report published yesterday in mno.hu, the web site of daily Magyar Nemzet. The meeting would take place exactly a year after the Russian leader visited Budapest.

Vladimir Putin and Viktor Orbán during Putinʼs visit to Budapest last year. (Photo: kormany.hu)

The €12.5 billion contract to hire Rosatom, the Russian nuclear company, to build two new reactors at the Paks plant was recently put into question by the European Commission. The EC says that Hungary violated competition regulations when it agreed to let Rosatom handle the project without a competitive tender – especially because the deal does not seem to make sense from a market point of view. The Hungarian government has refuted this claim, saying the deal is competitive, and does not amount to illegal state aid.

The Russian government is very supportive of Hungary’s agreement with Rosatom, and provided Hungary with a €10 billion line of credit to make sure the deal was signed.

Other issues of importance to Russia and Hungary include trade and the supply of natural gas.