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Russian President Vladimir Putin meets with Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban on the sidelines of the Third Belt and Road Forum in Beijing on Oct. 17, 2023. (Photo by Grigory Sysoyev / POOL / AFP)
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Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban met with Russian dictator Vladimir Putin in Beijing on Oct. 17, Orban posted on Facebook.

"Today, everyone in Europe is concerned with one question: will there be a ceasefire in Ukraine," Orban captioned a photo of the meeting.

"For us Hungarians, the most important thing is that the influx of refugees, the sanctions and the conflict ends," he added.

During the meeting, Putin said he was glad that relations with many European countries, including Hungary, "are being preserved and developed."

Orban told Putin in response that his government is interested in continuing economic cooperation with Russia "as long as this is possible," according to the Kremlin.

Neither Putin nor Orban explicitly mentioned Ukraine, instead referring to the difficult "situation" in Europe.

Orban and Putin are in China's capital for the Belt and Road Forum, which starts on Oct. 17.

The two-day forum intends to highlight the successes of the Belt and Road Initiative, China's global infrastructure project that aims to connect trade and investment along what was once Silk Road routes.

Orban is the only leader from the European Union to attend the summit. Despite Hungary being a member of the EU and NATO, Orban's government has maintained ties with both Russia and China.

Within the EU, Budapest has a history of opposing international sanctions against Russia while blocking funding for Ukraine.

Orban met with Chinese leader Xi Jinping earlier on Oct. 17, while Putin is set to meet Xi on Oct. 18.

It is Putin's second trip abroad since the International Criminal Court (ICC) issued a warrant for his arrest over his role in the illegal deportation of Ukrainian children in March 2023.

Hungarian Foreign Minister arrives in Moscow for fifth visit since February 2022
Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto arrived in Moscow on the evening of Oct. 12, according to photos he posted to Facebook. This is his fifth official trip to Russia since the start of the full-scale invasion of Ukraine.
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