NewsRussia-Ukraine peace talks: Orban urges more diplomacy to end war

Russia-Ukraine peace talks: Orban urges more diplomacy to end war

Orban met with Putin. "Divergent positions"
Orban met with Putin. "Divergent positions"
Images source: © EPA | VALERIY SHARIFULIN/SPUTNIK/KREMLIN / POOL

7:07 PM EDT, July 5, 2024

- The positions of Russia and Ukraine regarding the end of the war are very far apart, - stated Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban on Friday afternoon during a press conference after meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

- After visiting Kyiv and Moscow, I realized that the positions of Russia and Ukraine are very far apart, - admitted Orban. - Much more needs to be done to get closer to ending the war, - he added.

The Hungarian Prime Minister discussed current peace initiatives, the possibility of a ceasefire, future negotiations with Putin, and future relations between European countries after the war ends. - After two years (of war), few countries maintain contact with both warring parties. Hungary is one of the few such countries, - he assessed.

- Our most important task during our presidency in the EU is to fight for peace, - stated Orban. He emphasized that "without diplomacy and communication channels, we will not achieve peace."

- The Hungarian Prime Minister presented the well-known Western point of view, including Ukraine's point of view, - said Putin, adding that he considers Orban's visit as an attempt to "resume dialogue" and "give it additional momentum".

From Kyiv to Moscow. "Talks in a good atmosphere"

The meeting between the two politicians lasted about three hours. Russian media quoted Yuri Ushakov, Putin's advisor, as saying that the talks took place in a very good atmosphere. He added that Orban did not convey any messages from Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to Putin.

On Tuesday, Orban visited Kyiv. It was his first visit to the Ukrainian capital since the beginning of the Russian invasion in February 2022. During his meeting with Zelensky, he discussed the possibility of a ceasefire and starting peace talks.

Orban's visit to Moscow criticized by the West

Orban's visit to Moscow was met with criticism from many European politicians, including Prime Minister Donald Tusk.

The Ukrainian Ministry of Foreign Affairs also expressed its dissatisfaction, informing that the Hungarian Prime Minister did not coordinate his initiative with Kyiv. "For our country, the principle 'no agreements about Ukraine without Ukraine' remains inviolable, and we appeal to all countries to strictly adhere to it," - stated the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said on Friday that Hungary had informed the Alliance about Prime Minister Orban's planned visit to Moscow. Stoltenberg expects that next week Orban will report on his visit at the NATO summit in Washington.

On Monday, Hungary assumed the six-month presidency of the EU Council. After visiting Kyiv, Orban announced in an interview with the Swiss weekly "Die Weltwoche" that he is preparing a report for the European Council on the possibilities of achieving peace in Ukraine.

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