The Budapest meeting on Februar 2, 2017, with Orban was Putin's 1st visit to the European Union since the election of US President Donald Trump.
Vladimir Putin visited Hungary to discuss prospective energy projects.
Mr Orban said «long and successful talks» with Mr Putin had focused on plans for Russian energy firms to expand a Hungarian nuclear power plant and provide gas on a long-term basis to the country.
Hungary is a long-time customer of Russia’s state gas giant Gazprom, with 4 delivery contracts currently in place, the last of which expires in 2021.
Paks is the only nuclear power plant in Hungary. Located 62 miles south of Budapest, it supplies over one-third of the country's electricity.
That project has stalled due to EU regulatory demands but Orban voiced hope that construction could finally start.
«The construction project of 2 new power units of the nuclear power plant in Hungary is estimated at 12 bln euro», Vladimir Putin said. He added that, if necessary, Russia could raise its loan to fully cover the costs of the 12-billion euro project. «We are ready to provide 100% financing but terms of the agreement should be slightly different in such case,» Putin said.
«We are hoping that this year we can start preparations, and begin the construction itself in 2018,» Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban said during a press conference after his meeting with Vladimir Putin. «Of course, the financial situation in Hungary in the international economic environment has improved in the recent years, but we have a good agreement with Russia, and we do not want to risk it. We are committed to its implementation. We can not wait for the construction work to finally begin,» Orban said.
Ahead of Putin's visit, Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto criticized the previous U.S. administration for pressuring Hungary to prevent it from warming up to Moscow and voiced hope that Trump will take a different course.
He said that since the introduction of sanctions, Hungary had lost $6.5 billion in unrealised export to Russia.
To read this news in Russian.