Russia’s President Putin has congratulated Hungary’s Viktor Orban after he was re-elected in a landslide.
"The head of the Russian state expressed confidence that, despite the difficult international situation, the further development of bilateral ties of partnership fully meets the interests of the peoples of Russia and Hungary," Moscow said in a press release.
Hungary’s right-wing Government remains Putin’s closest ally in the European Union and NATO.
Although Orban has supported EU sanctions against Russia and taken in half a million refugees from Ukraine, he has refused to supply Kyiv with weapons - something which has earned him public rebukes from President Zelenskyy.
Mr Orban has also been noticeably less critical of Putin than other EU leaders and is keen that Russian oil and gas should be exempt from any future sanctions.
After winning more than two thirds of the seats in Hungary’s Parliament, Orban hit out at what those he called his “opponents”:
“This victory will be remembered for the rest of our lives because so many people ganged up on us,” he enthused to supporters at a victory rally.
“Including the left at home, the international left everywhere, the bureaucrats in Brussels, all the funds and organizations of the Soros empire, the foreign media, and in the end even the Ukrainian president.”
Main image: Russian President Vladimir Putin greets Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban during their meeting at the Kremlin in Moscow, Russia September 18, 2018. Alexander Zemlianichenko/Pool via REUTERS