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Hungary PM Viktor Orbán to meet Donald Trump days after Vladimir Putin trip



Hungary PM Viktor Orbán to meet Donald Trump days after Vladimir Putin trip

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Viktor Orbán will meet former US president Donald Trump on Thursday, days after the Hungarian prime minister made a controversial visit to Moscow to see Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Orbán, the EU’s most pro-Russian leader and most vocal supporter of Trump, will travel to Florida to meet the Republican candidate for November’s presidential election straight from a Nato leaders’ summit in Washington, according to a person familiar with the plans.

A senior Trump adviser confirmed the meeting with Orbán on Thursday and added that “any talk of Orbán negotiating secret deals or anything like that is nonsensical”.

The Hungarian leader opposes western military aid to Ukraine and has called for immediate peace talks to end the conflict, even though Russia occupies large chunks of Ukraine, while Kyiv is opposed to negotiations. Orbán’s visit to Moscow last week violated EU rules, Brussels said yesterday.

The meeting with Trump is likely to further rile other EU leaders angry at Orbán breaching the bloc’s unified foreign policy positions. Orbán did not inform his allies of the planned meeting, two EU diplomats told the FT.

Orbán, who had dinner with President Joe Biden and Nato’s other 30 leaders at the White House on Wednesday evening, will fly to Florida on Thursday, the final day of the military alliance’s two-day summit.

Hungary took over the six-month rotating presidency of the EU council of ministers — a role that allows members of Orbán’s government to chair meetings — on July 1.

Orbán has met Trump multiple times and is a frequent guest speaker at pro-Trump events, aligning his nationalist, anti-migration politics with the former president’s rhetoric. The Hungarian was last at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort in March.

Balazs Orbán, the prime minister’s influential political director, said on Wednesday he believed Trump’s “is the most pro-European position when it comes to defending ourselves: first and foremost, we are responsible for our own safety”, in a comment posted on X.

Other European capitals are fearful of a potential second Trump presidency, but given the former US leader’s protectionist trade stance and his questioning of the US commitment to defend Nato allies if they are attacked, Orbán has long spoken warmly of Trump’s election bid.

Orbán’s trip, first reported by Bloomberg, comes as other European leaders, ministers and officials in Washington for the Nato summit meet Trump-affiliated foreign policy officials such as Keith Kellogg, former chief of staff in Trump’s National Security Council.

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