Following Russian President Vladimir Putin’s visit to Budapest, left-wing magazine Magyar Narancs explains that “the Hungarian government cannot deny the importance of this visit” and that “Moscow also needs Hungary.” Noting demonstrations on the eve of the Russian president’s arrival, the Budapest monthly writes that Putin “needed to show the whole world there was still a European country that supports him” on his first visit to an EU member state since sanctions were imposed on Moscow.

For his part, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán underlined that “even if Hungary does not support the sanctions, peace is Ukraine is a prerequisite for reestablishing good relations between the EU and Russia.” Putin, isolated on the international stage and encountering trouble finding new takers for his goods and services, signed several economic agreements with Budapest in the domains of energy, nuclear power, higher education and medicine.