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After Orban’s visit to Putin: Hungary justifies Baerbock’s cancellation with “change of date”

After Orban’s visit to Putin: Hungary justifies Baerbock’s cancellation with “change of date”
After Orban’s visit to Putin: Hungary justifies Baerbock’s cancellation with “change of date”

German politicians have been a rare sight in Budapest recently. A planned visit by Foreign Minister Baerbock fell through at short notice. The hosts are now explaining the cancellation.

The Hungarian Foreign Ministry justified the cancellation of the visit by Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock (Greens), originally planned for Monday, with an “unforeseen change in the schedule” of her counterpart Peter Szijjarto. The ministry has therefore asked Berlin to postpone the visit to a later, but nevertheless timely, date, the ministry told the Hungarian news portal “444.hu”. “The reasons behind this are purely technical, not political,” the statement said.

Foreign Minister Szijjarto accompanied Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban on Friday on his controversial trip to Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow. Szijjarto has a particularly close relationship with his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov, who awarded him the Russian Order of Friendship in 2021. Orban had staged the meeting with Putin, whose country has been waging a war of aggression against Ukraine for more than two years, as a “peace mission.”

Because of Orban’s Moscow-friendly policies and the dismantling of democracy that he has pursued, German government politicians have been rare in Hungary in recent years. Baerbock was due to travel to Budapest on Monday, not least because the Central European country took over the presidency of the EU Council on July 1.

The cancellation from Budapest arrived at short notice on Friday evening, the Foreign Office announced. “A serious and honest personal conversation between the two foreign ministers would have been important in view of Prime Minister Orban’s surprising and uncoordinated trip to Moscow,” it said.

Source: Stern

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