Hungary's Orban invited to Feb. 17 meeting with Putin

Hungary says Prime Minister Viktor Orban has been invited to visit Russian President Vladimir Putin on Feb. 17.

Janos Lazar, Orban's chief of staff, said Thursday that the two leaders have had "working meetings" annually since 2011.

Putin met with Orban in Budapest last February, a year after Moscow agreed to lend Hungary 10 billion euros ($10.9 billion) for the expansion of Hungary's only nuclear power plant, with Russia's Rosatom leading the project. Hungary has dismissed concerns that low oil prices could force Russia to renegotiate the deal. Hungary is greatly dependent on Russian supplies of natural gas and oil.

While Hungary has supported European Union sanctions against Russia because of its actions in Ukraine, Orban has often said that reciprocal sanctions introduced by Russia are damaging to Hungarian firms.