Putin, Vladimir. Russian president

Meloni not congratulating Putin on his re-election


Premier Giorgia Meloni said on Friday she does not share the position of the Hungarian Premier. Viktor Orban congratulated Russian President Vladimir Putin on his landslide re-election on Monday.

Meloni told reporters after the European Summit in Brussels “I do not share that letter and those good wishes, he knows my position,” referring to a letter sent by Orban to Putin on Thursday.

In the letter, the Hungarian premier said “cooperation between Hungary and Russia, based on mutual respect, allows for important discussions even in difficult geopolitical contexts.” He also “affirmed Hungary’s commitment to peace and its readiness to strengthen cooperation in areas not limited by international law”, said government spokesman Zoltan Kovacs.

The Russian presidential election, in which Putin faced no viable opposition, particularly following the death of Navalny, was widely seen as being neither free nor fair. Putin won with over 88% of the vote.

Meloni’s Deputy Prime Minister, matteo Salvini, who has often faced criticism for his pro-Putin stance, said earlier this week, “When a people votes they are always right, elections are always good both when one wins and when one loses them.”

“When I lose them [votes]”, continued Salvini, “I try to understand where I went wrong and how to do better next time. There have been elections, we take note of the vote of Russian citizens, hoping that 2024 will be the year of peace”.

Meloni condemns Moscow attack

Italian Premier Giorgia Meloni and President Sergio Mattarella condemned Friday’s terrorist attack in Moscow.

“The horrific massacre of innocent civilians in Moscow is unacceptable,” Meloni said in a statement. “The Italian Government firmly and totally condemns this brutal act of terrorism. I express full solidarity with the people affected and the victims’ families”.

Mattarella condemned the “cruel attack”. “Fighting all forms of terrorism must be a common commitment for the entire international community,” the head of State said.

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