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Putin begins two-day visit to Hungary

Russian President Vladimir Putin arrived on a two-day official visit to Budapest on Tuesday.

Putin's programme will begin with a visit to Sándor Palace, the Office of the Hungarian President, where he will meet President László Sólyom. The Russian and Hungarian delegations will then hold a plenary meeting in Parliament. Putin and his delegation will then be received in Parliament by Prime Minister Ferenc Gyurcsány and ten bilateral agreements are tabled for signing, including a memorandum of agreement on medium-term economic co-operation between Hungary and Russia. President Sólyom and Prime Minister Gyurcsány are giving a dinner in honour of Putin at the Museum of Fine Arts in the evening. Putin is scheduled to lay a wreath at the memorials for Hungarian and Soviet Heroes and to attend the opening of an exhibition presenting the rare books of the Sárospatak Calvinist College which Russia returned to Hungary last week after years of legal dispute. Spokesman for Hungary's Foreign Affairs Ministry Viktor Polgár told MTI earlier that Putin had accepted the requests of leaders of all four parties in Hungarian Parliament to meet him on Tuesday.