Hungarian PM Orban Criticized For Putin Visit Amid Peace Efforts

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban has stirred controversy with his recent visit to Russia, where he met with President Vladimir Putin. This trip comes just after Hungary assumed the rotating presidency of the Council of the European Union, a role that some fear Orban may use to push far-right European views and potentially hinder Ukraine’s push for more support.

Before his departure, Orban emphasized the need for active diplomacy to achieve peace. He stated on social media, “You cannot make peace from a comfortable armchair in Brussels. Even if the rotating EU-Presidency has no mandate to negotiate on behalf of the EU, we cannot sit back and wait for the war to miraculously end. We will serve as an important tool in making the first steps towards peace. This is what our peace mission is about.”

During his trip, Orban suggested to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky that a different approach might be necessary. He proposed a ceasefire followed by negotiations with Russia, believing this could expedite the peace process. However, Zelensky’s stance, supported by the EU and the U.S., remains firm on his 10-point peace plan, which requires Russian troops to withdraw before any ceasefire.

After his Moscow meeting, Orban tweeted, “I have concluded my talks in Moscow with President Putin. My goal was to open the channels of direct communication and start a dialogue on the shortest road to peace. Mission accomplished! To be continued on Monday.”

Critics argue that Orban’s actions suggest he aligns more with Putin than with the EU and NATO. They worry his approach could weaken Ukraine’s position by allowing Russia to regroup and continue its offensive. The general consensus among EU and U.S. leaders is to let Zelensky determine the conditions for peace, ensuring that any ceasefire would not leave Ukraine vulnerable.

Orban’s peace mission has drawn mixed reactions, with some viewing it as a necessary step towards ending the conflict, while others see it as a potential threat to Ukraine’s sovereignty and security.

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