By JUSTIN SPIKE and KEN MORITSUGU
BEIJING (AP) — Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán has held talks with Vladimir Putin in a rare in-person meeting for the Russian president with a leader of a European Union country. The two leaders met in Beijing on Tuesday before of an international forum on one of Chinese President Xi Jinping’s signature policies that is called the Belt and Road Initiative. Their meeting focused on Hungary’s access to Russian energy. Western leaders have largely eschewed contact with Putin over Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine. Orbán told Putin that “Hungary never wanted to confront Russia. Hungary always has been eager to expand contacts.” He said their ties have suffered because of EU sanctions against Moscow.