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Hungary's Prime Minister Orban Meets Putin In Moscow For "Peace Mission"

Hungary’s Prime Minister Viktor Orban met Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow on Friday. The visit has drawn heavy criticism from European Union leaders and Ukraine’s government. “Peace Mission” After Kyiv Visit Orban called the meeting part of a “peace mission.” This visit came just three days after he met Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky in […]

Hungary’s Prime Minister Viktor Orban met Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow on Friday. The visit has drawn heavy criticism from European Union leaders and Ukraine’s government.

“Peace Mission” After Kyiv Visit

Orban called the meeting part of a “peace mission.” This visit came just three days after he met Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky in Kyiv. Hungary recently assumed the presidency of the Council of the European Union, but EU leaders stressed Orban is not representing the bloc in his dealings with Russia.

Close Ties with the Kremlin

Orban remains the only EU head of government maintaining close ties with the Kremlin after Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine in 2022. After several hours of talks, Orban said Russia and Ukraine remain “far apart” on achieving peace but noted, “Many steps are needed to end the war, but we took the first step to restore dialogue.”

Putin’s Proposal Rejected

Putin described the conversation as “frank and useful” and reiterated a previously rejected proposal for Ukraine to withdraw from regions in the south and east, which Russia claims to have annexed. Zelensky insists Ukraine will not negotiate until Russian forces leave all Ukrainian territory, including Crimea.

EU Leaders Condemn Visit

European leaders condemned Orban’s Moscow trip, emphasizing he was not acting on behalf of the EU. Charles Michel, President of the European Council, stated on X, “The EU rotating presidency has no mandate to engage with Russia on behalf of the EU.” Ursula von der Leyen, head of the European Commission, added, “Appeasement will not stop Putin.”

Ukraine’s Response

Ukraine also criticized the visit, with its foreign ministry stating, “No agreements on Ukraine without Ukraine.” Orban’s earlier visit to Kyiv, his first in 12 years, aimed at promoting a quick ceasefire to speed up peace negotiations. However, many Ukrainians believe a ceasefire would only solidify Russia’s hold on seized territories.

Orban’s Criticism of Western Support

Orban has been critical of Western support for Ukraine and previously delayed an EU aid package intended to support Ukraine’s defense against Russia. His joint appearance with Zelensky in Kyiv displayed frosty body language, and neither leader took questions from the media.

Influential Role in EU

As head of the Council of the European Union for the next six months, Orban will hold an influential position as a figurehead for Europe. During his visit to Kyiv, Orban emphasized the need to resolve past disagreements and focus on the future.

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Hungary's complex position amid the Ukraine war.Hungary's Prime Minister Orban Meets Putin In Moscow For "Peace Mission"Orban's trip followed a recent visit to KyivPutin has been condemned by EU leaders and UkraineTDGThe Daily Guardian