Baltic leaders lambast and lampoon Orban’s trip to Moscow

Riga, Jul. 5, (dpa/GNA) – The leaders of three Baltic nations on Friday issued strong condemnations of Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán’s visit to Russia for talks with President Vladimir Putin.

“In Moscow, Viktor Orbán in no way represents the EU or the EU’s positions,” Estonian Prime Minister and designated EU foreign affairs representative Kaja Kallas wrote on X.

“He is exploiting the EU presidency position to sow confusion,” Kallas added, stressing that the EU is “united, clearly behind Ukraine and against Russian aggression.”

Hungary assumed the six-month rotating EU presidency on July 1.

Lithuanian President Gitanas Nausėda said Orbán’s “unilateral decision” to fly to Moscow undermined the credibility of Hungary’s presidency.

“If you truly seek peace, you don’t shake hands with a bloody dictator, you put all your efforts to support Ukraine,” Nausėda wrote on X.

His Latvian counterpart Edgars Rinkēvičs chose instead to lampoon the Hungarian leader by tweeting a verse of the James Bond movie theme song “From Russia with Love,” which he posted alongside Orbán’s description of his trip as a peace mission.

Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, all former Soviet republics, are among the staunchest supporters of Ukraine in its fight to repel the Russian invasion launched in February 2022. 

The three EU and NATO member states all border Russia and – with the exception of Estonia – its close ally Belarus.  GNA