Hungary’s PM to travel to Moscow for Gorbachev funeral

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Hungary’s Prime Minister Viktor Orban will travel to Moscow Saturday for the funeral of last Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev, Budapest said.

Orban will pay his respects and will be accompanied by a delegation, the secretary of state said on Twitter.

Before the Ukraine war, Orban had one of the closest relationships with Russian President Vladimir Putin of any EU leader, and Hungary is the sole European country to have increased gas deliveries from Russia since the start of the conflict.

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Separately on Saturday, the Kremlin said there are no plans for Orban to meet with Putin.

“As far as we know, he will only fly in to say goodbye to Gorbachev. There were no desires for meetings,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told state news agency RIA Novosti.

Gorbachev, who ended the Cold War without bloodshed but failed to prevent the collapse of the Soviet Union, died on Tuesday at the age of 91.

Gorbachev, the last Soviet president, forged arms reduction deals with the United States and partnerships with Western powers to remove the Iron Curtain that had divided Europe since World War Two and bring about the reunification of Germany.

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