Putin Rejects Peace at Meeting with Orban: Only His Terms for Ukraine!

World » RUSSIA | July 6, 2024, Saturday // 07:54
Bulgaria: Putin Rejects Peace at Meeting with Orban: Only His Terms for Ukraine!

Vladimir Putin conveyed to Viktor Orban that he would not accept any terms for peace in Ukraine other than his own. After three hours of talks in the Kremlin, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban highlighted the significant gap between Ukraine's and Russia's visions for ending the war. This meeting followed Orban's visit to Kyiv, where he proposed a temporary truce to expedite peace talks, a proposal Ukraine rejected.

Orban's visit to Moscow drew disapproval from European institutions and member states, viewing it as a threat to EU unity over the war in Ukraine. European Council President Charles Michel and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen emphasized that Orban had no mandate from the EU and spoke only on his behalf. Ursula von der Leyen expressed on social media that appeasement would not stop Putin, advocating instead for unity and determination to achieve a complete, just, and lasting peace in Ukraine.

The Russian president, after the talks, reiterated that the conflict could only end on Russian terms, requiring the complete withdrawal of Ukrainian troops from the Donetsk and Luhansk People's Republics, and the Zaporizhzhia and Kherson regions. He mentioned other conditions, suggesting these would be discussed in detailed joint work. Putin stressed that only the Russian initiative could halt hostilities and initiate negotiations, viewing it as an opportunity for a full and final end to the conflict, rather than a chance for Kyiv to regroup and rearm.

Orban defended his visit, describing Hungary's EU presidency, which began on July 1, as a "peaceful mission." He portrayed the talks with Putin as a preliminary step to restore dialogue, acknowledging that many more steps were needed to end the war. He argued that peace could not be achieved from a "comfortable armchair in Brussels" and that active efforts were required, despite the rotating EU presidency lacking a mandate to negotiate on the EU's behalf.

During a press conference with Putin, Orban stated that Hungary was the only European country capable of talking to the Kremlin. He acknowledged the disparity between Ukraine's and Russia's visions for ending the conflict, noting his proposal for a temporary truce was met with silence in Kyiv. Unlike the Kremlin, President Volodymyr Zelensky insisted on Russia's withdrawal from occupied Ukrainian territories before any negotiations on ending the war could begin, a stance supported by Kyiv's Western allies.

The Ukrainian Foreign Ministry also criticized Orban's visit, stating it violated an EU-adopted principle that negotiations on Ukraine should include Ukrainian participation. Kyiv noted that Orban's visit was not mentioned during his talks with Zelensky on Tuesday.

Swedish Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson condemned Orban's visit as "irresponsible and disloyal," arguing it sent the wrong message to the world and insulted the Ukrainian people. German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, while using more moderate language, reiterated that Orban represented only Hungary, not Europe, in the Kremlin, and affirmed the EU's steadfast support for Ukraine.

A European Commission spokesperson emphasized that EU unity, rather than private initiatives, was crucial for achieving peace. The spokesperson noted that EU efforts were currently focused on organizing a second peace conference for Ukraine and that Orban's visit was not coordinated with Brussels. This visit "seriously calls into question" the planned traditional visit of EU commissioners to the country holding the rotating presidency to discuss legislative priorities, scheduled for early September. According to the spokesperson, this indicated that some actions were "not in the right direction."

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Tags: Putin, Orban, Ukraine, Russia, Hungary

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