U.S. Ambassador to Hungary David Pressman said Friday that Washington was “concerned about Hungary’s relationship with Russia,” adding it finds Prime Minister Viktor Orbán’s recent decision to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin “troubling,” according to Reuters.
On Wednesday, Pressman faulted Orbán on X (formerly Twitter) for “choosing to stand with a man whose forces are responsible for crimes against humanity in Ukraine, and alone among our Allies.”
The previous day, Orbán was seen shaking hands with Putin on the sidelines of a two-day forum marking the 10th anniversary of China’s Belt and Road Initiative, drawing international censure.
Since Russia invaded Ukraine last year, Orbán has been criticized for opposing EU initiatives designed to help Kyiv against Moscow. His government maintains closer relations with Russia than other member countries, and is seen as advancing some of Moscow’s aims, including thwarting NATO expansion.
Ukraine has accused Hungary of funding Russian war crimes through energy deals with a top Kyiv official, warning that “a series of new deals boosting Hungary’s energy links with Russia will only prolong the war in Ukraine.”