Putin’s flight path to Budapest to be secured by fighter jets


Moni Lazar

Russian President Vladimir Putin and his delegation will be arriving in Hungary this Thursday on one of three identical planes, leaving from separate locations at separate times, and escorted by Hungarian fighter planes once in the countryʼs airspace, according to press reports today.

Gripens of the Hungarian Air Force (photo: LaMography/Moni Lazar)

Putin will visit Hungary’s Prime Minister Viktor Orbán in Budapest on February 2 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.

Two or three Il–96–300 aircraft will be departing from different destinations in Russia at different times, according to reports, and Putin’s location will not be made public due to high levels of secrecy, Hungarian online news portal 444.hu noted.

Once in Hungarian airspace, Gripen fighter jets of the Hungarian Air Force will escort Putin, for which the military received special approval from NATO, according to the Hungarian portal.

Many different routes will be secured from Budapest’s Ferenc Liszt International Airport to downtown, one of which will be picked by the Russian president’s security chief after the planes have touched down, reports claim.

Putin arrived in Hungary amid similar security measures two years ago. The Hungarian capital saw many road closures then, and this is expected to be repeated this year as well.

Hungary’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Péter Szijjártó traveled to Moscow a few days ago to meet with his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov ahead of Putinʼs visit. “We see that international processes are helping the development of Hungarian and Russian ties,” Szijjártó said at the meeting.


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