Politics, Europe

Hungarian premier has no EU mandate to visit Moscow: Borrell

EU position on Russia’s war on Ukraine is reflected in many European Council conclusions, so Viktor Orban is not representing EU in any say, says outgoing EU foreign policy chief

Talha Ozturk  | 05.07.2024 - Update : 05.07.2024
Hungarian premier has no EU mandate to visit Moscow: Borrell

BELGRADE, Serbia

Hungary’s prime minister has not received any mandate from the European Council to visit Moscow, outgoing EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said on Friday.

Viktor Orban arrived in Moscow on Friday on a “mediator” mission on Ukraine, his press secretary said.

Speaking on a radio program on Friday, Orban said that he would like to convince Ukraine and Russia of the need to "go a long way together, which can end with a cease-fire and peace talks."

But Borrell said in a statement: "The EU position on Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine is reflected in many European Council conclusions. That position excludes official contacts between the EU and President (Vladimir) Putin. The Hungarian Prime Minister is thus not representing the EU in any form.”

The statement added that Orban’s visit to Moscow takes place, exclusively, in the framework of bilateral relations between Hungary and Russia.

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said "appeasement will not stop Putin."

"Only unity and determination will pave the path to a comprehensive, just and lasting peace in Ukraine," said Von der Leyen.

Hungary on Monday took over the European Union’s rotating presidency for six months, taking the reins from Belgium.

Hungary's EU presidency, led by Orban, coincides with the reshaping of EU governance following the June 6-9 European Parliament elections, which saw the right-wing make gains.

Thus, although a dynamic legislative process is not anticipated, Budapest's political vision is expected to weigh large.

There has been tension in recent years between Hungary’s government and the EU leadership over what it sees as a decline in democratic principles in the country.

A legal process is being carried out against the country on the grounds that it violates the bloc's law, and a significant portion of the amount that Hungary could receive from EU funds has been blocked for this reason.

Hungary has also opposed EU sanctions on Russia over the Ukraine war.

Hungary will hand over the post to Poland next Jan. 1, as member states change the presidency every six months.


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