Hungary's Prime Minister Viktor Orban faced new criticism from EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell on Saturday, following his attendance at a meeting of the Organization of Turkic States in Azerbaijan. Orban, a nationalist leader, has already been condemned by Brussels, EU allies, the United States, and Kyiv for his discussions with Russian President Vladimir Putin regarding the Ukraine conflict in Moscow. The EU expressed concerns that Orban's actions could weaken the bloc's unified position on the issue, emphasizing that he was not acting on behalf of Brussels.

Borrell highlighted that Orban's presence at the informal summit of the OTS in Azerbaijan marked another instance where he represented Hungary independently of the European Union. He stated, "Hungary has not received any mandate from the EU Council to advance the relations with the Organisation of Turkic States." Orban's controversial trips have previously caused tensions with Brussels.

After the Moscow visit, Orban's political director questioned the necessity of EU mandates for routine activities on social media. Borrell also noted the EU's rejection of OTS's efforts to legitimize the unrecognized Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus by granting it observer status. Cyprus remains divided between the internationally recognized Greek-speaking Republic of Cyprus, an EU member, and the Turkish-speaking TRNC, recognized only by Turkey.

The OTS, established in 2009 by Turkey, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, and Kyrgyzstan, is an international organization uniting countries with Turkic languages. Hungary joined the group as an observer in 2018.