Ukraine's MP: Orban's Moscow visit may cost Hungary EU Council presidency
Viktor Orban and Vladimir Putin (Photo: ERA / VIVIEN CHER BENKO)

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban's trip to Moscow and his meeting with Russian dictator Vladimir Putin have outraged European leaders. Oleksandr Merezhko, head of the parliamentary committee on foreign affairs, told that Budapest's actions could lead to Hungary losing its presidency of the Council of the European Union.

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"It appears that Orban began his EU presidency by immediately abusing this position for his political and possibly economic goals. This is absolutely unacceptable and could result in Hungary being stripped of its EU presidency," said the MP.

Merezhko added that no one asked Orban to represent Ukraine's interests or seek any "peaceful resolution."

According to him, "this is a blatant violation of international morality" and could even be seen as interference in Ukraine's affairs, thus violating the international law principle of non-intervention in a state's internal and external affairs.

Even before the Hungarian leader's trip to Moscow, The Guardian journalists wrote that it could provoke EU "anger."

European leaders stated that Orban has no authority to negotiate with Russia on behalf of the EU, so his meeting with Putin should be viewed solely from the perspective of Hungarian politics.

Such statements were published by top EU politicians: EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell, European Council President Charles Michel, and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen.

Swedish President Ulf Kristersson said it was "irresponsible and disloyal" of Orban to use Hungary's EU presidency for a visit to Moscow and Putin. Moreover, he believes it "sends the wrong signal to the outside world and is an insult to the Ukrainian people’s fight for their freedom."

Read also: "Appeasement will not stop Putin." EU reacts to Orban's Moscow visit