PM Viktor Orbán arrived home after a long summer holiday spent in Croatia earlier this week and posted some photos that he has begun work immediately. He held the first autumn government meeting on Friday, in which they discussed the energy crisis hitting Hungary. Now he has urgently travelled to Moscow by plane. Below you can read why.
According to Magyar Hang, the Hungarian prime minister’s unexpected Moscow visit has nothing to do with the war in Ukraine or the emerging energy crisis because of which some Fidesz-member mayors like András Cser-Palkovics, the mayor of Székesfehérvár, have been ringing the alarm bells for a long time. The Hungarian newspaper says that Orbán flew to the Russian capital to pay his respects to the deceased former Soviet leader, Mikhail Gorbachev.
The prime minister’s press chief, Bertalan Havasi, told the Hungarian News Agency that Orbán was accompanied by Fidesz MEP Tamás Deutch, Fidesz-close Historian and director of Budapest’s House of Terror, Mária Schmidt, his political director, Balázs Orbán, and lawyer Imre Kónya. Kónya is not only an advocate but also the former leader of MDF, the Hungarian Democratic Forum, which won the first democratic elections after regime change in 1990. Kónya was the leader of the MDF parliamentary group during József Antall’s prime ministership. Furthermore, he became a minister of interior after the prime minister died in 1993.
Antall and Kónya contributed to dissolving the Warsaw Pact, the Soviet Union’s military alliance, in 1991.
Gorbachev, the last leader of the Soviet Union, died on 30 August, aged 91, after having been suffering from a severe disease. He will be buried in Moscow’s Novodevichy cemetery next to his wife, Raisa Gorbacheva, who died in 1999 of leukemia. His public farewell ceremony is organized in the historical Columned Hall of the House of Unions. His body is lying in state – like that of several of his Soviet predecessors, including Vladimir Lenin, Joseph Stalin and Leonid Brezhnev, BBC reported.
Putin will not take part in the farewell ceremony of the former Soviet leader because of his tight schedule. Therefore, he paid his respects to Gorbachev on Thursday at Moscow’s Central Clinical Hospital and placed some flowers near his grave.
Orbán and Putin met on 1 February. They discussed matters about energy supply. The Russian leader did not talk about his plans for Ukraine’s invasion and had a conversation with the Hungarian prime minister by sitting on the opposite parts of a very long table. Since then, the two leaders have not met, but, for example, Péter Szijjártó, Hungary’s foreign affairs minister, travelled to Moscow to ask for more gas, which the Russians accepted and started the deliveries.
Below is PM Orbán’s Facebook post about his visit:
Source: Magyar Hang, BBC, DNH