According to Hungarian news agency MTI, Russian President Vladimir Putin will be visiting the Hungarian capital sometime in the first part of 2017.
Responding to questions about Mr. Putin’s possible trip to Budapest, Russian Presidential Spokesman Dimitri Peskov said that “It is true, the planning of such a visit is currently underway, we will announce the exact dates of the visit at a later time.
This will not be the Russian President’s first visit to Budapest; rather it is the continuation of what is slowly becoming an annual series of meetings between Mr. Putin and Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán. They began in February of 2014, when the Russian President came to Budapest and laid a wreath at the Soviet Soldiers’ cemetery. This was followed by Mr. Orbán’s visit to St. Petersburg this past year.
With Mr. Putin’s upcoming visit, this string of 3 visits within two years will place Mr. Orbán in the unique category of being the European leader to have had the most bilateral talks with the Russian President. In fact, they have met every year in some shape or form since 2009, but until last February it was always Mr. Orbán who was the one coming to visit.