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Over 50% of Hungarians find Orban's meeting with Putin unacceptable

Tuesday, 7 November 2023, 11:14
Over 50% of Hungarians find Orban's meeting with Putin unacceptable
VIKTOR ORBÁN AND VLADIMIR PUTIN. PHOTO: GETTY IMAGES

A poll by the Publicus Institute commissioned by the Hungarian opposition newspaper Népszava has found that over 50% of Hungarians disapprove of their Prime Minister Viktor Orbán's meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Source: European Pravda, referring to the survey

Details: A total of 91% of respondents have been aware that Prime Minister Viktor Orbán met with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Beijing. People who dislike it outnumber those who see nothing wrong with the fact that while European leaders are keeping away from the Russian president who ordered the invasion of Ukraine, the Hungarian prime minister is holding talks with him.

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Thus, 52% do not consider a meeting with Putin acceptable, while 35% believe it is fine. Political preferences primarily drive attitudes towards this issue. 13% failed to answer this question.

The Publicus Institute also asked whose interests were served by this meeting. In the opinion of 32% of respondents, it was in the interests of Viktor Orbán, as good relations with Russia are essential because of gas and oil supplies. Slightly more people (33%) believe that it is in the interests of both sides, and only 19% think that it is more important for Vladimir Putin, as the Hungarian government, as a member of Western alliances, praises and legitimises the military aggressor Russia.

During his talks with Putin, Orbán called the invasion of Ukraine not a war but, using a Russian propaganda trick, a "military operation". A relative majority of respondents, 36%, believe that the Hungarian prime minister intended to make a pro-Russian statement, compared to 23% who say that he only wanted to be diplomatic.

15% agreed that Orbán "was aware of the weight of his statement but could not do anything else". Some concluded that the wording was irrelevant, though the number of such respondents was small (9%).

During the EU summit, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán said he had no plans to apologise for his meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin in China and considered himself to have done the right thing.

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