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Hungary’s Orbán pushes peace talks in Ukraine, draws criticism from EU

By : JD News Desk

Jordan Daily – Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán’s recent diplomatic moves in Ukraine have sparked controversy, culminating in a rare meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow on Friday.

Orbán, who currently holds the rotating presidency of the European Union, emphasized the necessity of negotiations to end the Ukraine conflict, advocating that “both parties” must engage in dialogue, and asserting there is “no military solution.”

The unscheduled Moscow trip follows Orbán’s unexpected meeting with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy in Kyiv earlier this week. Despite a relatively cordial exchange, Orbán reiterated his refusal to offer political or military support to Ukraine.

As reports of Orbán’s visit to Moscow emerged, European Council President Charles Michel criticized the move, underscoring that Orbán lacked the authority to negotiate on behalf of the EU. During a joint press conference, Putin reiterated his non-negotiable demands, including Kyiv ceding more territory, withdrawing troops, and abandoning its NATO aspirations—conditions previously rejected by Ukraine and its Western allies.

Orbán, who is leading the EU presidency for six months, framed his visit as part of a peace mission, stating, “Many steps are needed to end the war but we took the first step to restore dialogue.” He acknowledged significant differences in perspectives between Kyiv and Moscow.

The EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell clarifying that Orbán did not represent the EU. “Prime Minister Viktor Orbán’s visit to Moscow takes place exclusively within the framework of bilateral relations between Hungary and Russia,” Borrell stated.

Ukraine’s foreign ministry also denounced the visit, emphasizing the principle of “no agreements on Ukraine without Ukraine” and noting the lack of approval or coordination from Kyiv.

Hungary’s stance has diverged from other Western countries due to Orbán’s ongoing close ties with Russia and his refusal to send arms to Ukraine. Orbán’s foreign minister previously described plans to aid Ukraine as a “crazy mission.”

While Orbán has suggested that Hungary could facilitate peace in Ukraine, he has yet to outline a detailed plan. The Hungarian leader’s recent actions may reflect his belief in shifting geopolitical dynamics, with upcoming elections in France and the potential return of Donald Trump to the U.S. presidency influencing his strategy.

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