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Report: Orbán, Putin praise ties, call for more cooperation

Hungary’s Prime Minister Viktor Orbán and Russia’s President Vladimir Putin praised ties between the two countries at the beginning of their meeting in Moscow, which was open to representatives of the press prior to negotiations being carried out behind closed doors, according to reports.

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán, left, and Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow today. (Photo: MTI/Szilárd Koszticsák)

Orbán thanked Putin for his efforts which “in difficult times he has made in the interest of Russian-Hungarian friendship”, according to Hungarian new agency MTI. “Perhaps it sounds immodest to say so, but we can say that what is good in our ties is something that we have achieved, and what is not good is not down to us.”

Commenting on the issues the two discussed exactly a year ago during Putin’s visit to Hungary, Orbán said “much progress has been made on issues put on the table last year”, according to MTI. He added that he hoped cooperation between the two countries would remain friendly, MTI reported.

Putin said he was “satisfied” with the quality of Hungary-Russia ties, however, he noted that bilateral trade between the two countries has declined, according to MTI. “We are satisfied despite the known problems and the drop in trade,” Putin reportedly said. “Hungary is a very old and trusted partner of ours,” Putin said, adding that Russia trusts that plans outlined during a visit to Budapest a year ago will develop further, according to MTI.

The negotiations continued behind closed doors, and are to be followed by a plenary meeting and a joint press conference, MTI reported.