With the date of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s visit to China set, media reports now speculate that Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán will meet the Russian leader there.
“We will inform you in due time (about the time of the visit),” President Putin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov said about the trip, according to RIA Novosti.
Other sources were more forthcoming. According to them, the meeting between Chinese President Xi Jinping and Russian President Vladimir Putin will take place during the One Belt, One Road forum. The conference will be held in Beijing later this month. Brussels-based Politico reports that Prime Minister Viktor Orbán will attend the meeting as well, the only EU leader to do so.
Orbán has actively been promoting a peace deal between Russia and Ukraine, arguing that the war is destroying the European economy, driving inflation, and leading to an incredible loss of life on both sides. Hungary has since backed a peace deal presented by China to end the war.
Hungary has attempted to maintain its strong relationship with China, especially in regard to economic investment, and while it has distanced itself from Russia, Orbán has argued that relations must remain open despite the war.
The Regnum Russian news portal also reported that Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov will visit Beijing on October 16-18 for talks with his Chinese counterpart.
Orbán last met Putin in Moscow on February 1, 2022, just weeks before Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.