EU leader issues 9-word reaction after shock meeting between Putin and NATO country PM

Tyler Mitchell By Tyler Mitchell Jul5,2024

The surprise visit to Moscow by Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban has drawn the criticism of a leading EU politician.

Mr Orban was pictured shaking hands with and sitting next to Russian President Vladimir Putin, two and a half years into the unlawful invasion of Ukraine.

The war in eastern Europe has turned Putin into a pariah to most of the Western world – but Mr Orban has staunchly retained his links with the Kremlin.

His latest meeting with the Russian president was part of a “peace mission”, Mr Orban claimed on X, and followed his visit to Ukraine on Tuesday – his first since the beginning of the war.

Among those who strongly condemned Mr Orban’s trip to Moscow was Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk.

He posted on X: “PM Orban on his way to Moscow: ‘We will serve as an important tool in making the first step towards peace’.”

Slamming the decision, Mr Tusk issued a nine-word reaction, reading: “The question is in whose hands this tool is.”

In the wake of the trip, Mr Tusk had already hit out at Mr Orban, writing on the social media platform: “The rumours about your visit to Moscow cannot be true Viktor Orban, or can they?”

The Putin-Orban meeting came just days after Hungary took over the six-month rotating presidency of the Council of the EU, causing further uproar in Brussels.

Charles Michel, the outgoing president of the Council, stated on Thursday: “The EU rotating presidency has no mandate to engage with Russia on behalf of the EU. No discussions about Ukraine can take place without Ukraine.”

Ursula von der Leyen, the President of the European Commission, issued similarly harsh words, as she stated: “Appeasement will not stop Putin. Only unity and determination will pave the path to a comprehensive, just and lasting peace in Ukraine.”

Hungary became an EU member in 2004 and has been a NATO country since 1999. Being part of the Western military group Hungary would need to join other NATO countries in a conflict against Russia the alliance being directly attacked by the Kremlin.

Tyler Mitchell

By Tyler Mitchell

Tyler is a renowned journalist with years of experience covering a wide range of topics including politics, entertainment, and technology. His insightful analysis and compelling storytelling have made him a trusted source for breaking news and expert commentary.

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