Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov will arrive in Budapest today for talks with Hungarian Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov will arrive in Budapest today for talks with Hungarian Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Peter Szijjarto, ahead of visits to Austria and Italy.
Hungary plays an important role in Russia relationship with both the EU and Ukraine, maintaining close relations with Russia and blocking many of Ukraine’s efforts to move closer to the EU and NATO.
Today’s talks will reportedly include continued discussion of agreements reached by Presidents Putin and Orban, and international issues ranging from the aftermath of COVID-19 to security concerns around Crimea. The most concrete outcomes are likely to simply be further progress on previous economic deals, in particular the MET energy project and Hungary’s possible membership in the Russian Eurasian Development Bank.
Looking past immediate outcomes, expect talks to also focus heavily on relations with the European Union, NATO, and Ukraine. As Hungary begins to suffer economic consequences for its shift away from the “mainstream” EU and embrace of authoritarianism, economic ties to Russia will become increasingly important, in exchange for which Hungary is likely to further support Russia’s foreign policy goals around the EU, especially when it comes to Ukraine.