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Macron meets with Hungary’s Orban at Elysée Palace to discuss Ukraine war


French President Emmanuel Macron met with Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán at a European Council working dinner at the Elysee Palace on Monday night to discuss the war in Ukraine and other issues.

An outspoken critic of Europe’s stance on the war in Ukraine, Orbán remains one of the few dissenters among his EU counterparts, accusing the West of waging an “indirect war” against Russia.

Hungary’s prime minister has criticized Western sanctions on Moscow and vowed to maintain ties with the Kremlin while refusing to supply Ukraine with arms.

A source close to the president said Monday’s dinner between Macron and Orbán would represent “a reaffirmation of the importance of European values ​​and the unity of European countries in support of Ukraine in its war with Russia through sanctions”.

The French presidency said in a statement that the two leaders were also expected to discuss “issues related to industrial policy, energy and immigration issues” as well as the rule of law ahead of the March 23-24 European Council meeting .

Budapest is also locked in a long-running spat with the EU over Brussels’ concerns over corruption in Hungary.

In December, Brussels froze 12 billion euros in Hungarian funds pending expected anti-corruption reforms in Budapest.

(Reported by Agence France-Presse on the 24th)

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