Viktor Orbán is scheduled to travel to Russia on February 1 to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin, Foreign Minister Peter Szijjártó told Russian news agency TASS. It was also announced that Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro’s trip to Budapest was set for February 17.
Among several issues to be discussed with the Russian President is the Paks 2 project. The plans for Russia’s Rosatom to expand the nuclear power plant with new units are behind schedule, and the project still has not received the proper permits.
Earlier in the week, Szijjártó said that it would be very important for all necessary permits for the Paks expansion to be granted by the end of March. Now, the Foreign Minister stated that Orban and Putin would discuss the status of preparations on the project.
Rosatom is already preparing the ground for some real, visible, and spectacular development. We want the project to enter the construction phase as early as the first half of this year, and the two new reactors to be operational by the end of the decade.
-said Foreign Minister Szijjártó.
The Prime Minister also plans to negotiate an extension of the gas supply contract with the Russian President on his trip to Moscow. According to Szijjártó, the current energy crisis means that “increasing our quantity through a long-term contract will be very beneficial for us.”
In addition, the two leaders will also discuss joint space research projects and launching production of the Sputnik V vaccine in Hungary. The Foreign Minister hopes that the domestic vaccine factory will be operational by this fall.
Bolsonaro to Visit Budapest Directly From Moscow
While it was reported this week that Jair Bolsonaro would be visiting Budapest next month, the date has now been set for February 17. Reports stated that the Brazilian President would be going straight to Hungary from Russia after meeting with Putin.
Viktor Orbán shares a number of right-wing, populist attributes with Bolsonaro, although perhaps not the Brazilian’s famous anti-vaccination stance. Underlining their similar outlooks, Orbán was one of the few state leaders from Europe who personally attended Jair Bolsonaro’s inauguration on January 1, 2018. [444, 444]