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Putin arrives in Budapest, heads to Parliament

Visits

Russia’s President Vladimir Putin, together with his delegation, touched down at Budapest’s Ferenc Liszt International Airport today and traveled on to the heart of the capital to meet Hungary’s Prime Minister Viktor Orbán and other Hungarian officials.

Putinʼs touchdown in Budapest (photo: MTI / Tamás Kovács)

Budapest is seeing many road closures and public transport stoppages as Putin’s convoy transports the president around the Hungarian capital. Putin has arrived amid extremely tight security measures, similarly to his visit two years ago, which will stay in effect until he leaves the country late in the evening, according to reports.

The two leaders and their respective delegations are expected to discuss the expansion of Hungary’s sole nuclear power plant in Paks, as well as covering gas transfers and the possible renegotiation of credit conditions, Hungarian online news portal index.hu reported earlier.

Putin arrived on one of three identical planes leaving from separate locations at separate times, and was escorted by Hungarian fighter planes once in the countryʼs airspace, according to press reports.

Meanwhile, index.hu reported that a protest planned by the opposition party Együtt (Together) on the corner of Kossuth tér, the site of the Parliament building where Putin headed immediately on arrival, was refused access by units of Hungaryʼs Counter Terrorism Center (TEK), despite holding a valid permit to demonstrate.

Putin will first hold a personal meeting with Orbán in Parliament, and then with a larger delegation, index.hu reported. This will be followed by a joint press conference, details of which will follow.

At the end of the meeting, the two countriesʼ foreign ministries are due to sign a cooperation agreement for the 2017-2022 period.

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