Orbán meets Putin to discuss peace in Ukraine, despite Brussels and NATO’s discontent

Orbán meets Putin to discuss peace in Ukraine, despite Brussels and NATO’s discontent
Orbán meets Putin to discuss peace in Ukraine, despite Brussels and NATO’s discontent

Orbán meets Putin to discuss peace in Ukraine, despite Brussels and NATO’s discontentVALERY SHARIFULIN / KREMLIN POOL / AP

Viktor Orbánthe conservative hungarian prime ministershares many ideas with the Russian president, Vladimir Putin. And he is the man who wants to take the credit for putting End the war in Ukraine. His ideological affinity with Putin is a good asset for him to be the leader who can bring peace between kyiv and Moscow. Orbán himself stressed this objective on Friday, upon his arrival in Moscow to meet the Russian leader. “The peace mission continues. Next stop: Moscow,” he wrote on X next to a photo of himself at Moscow’s Vnukovo airport, which is reserved for the authorities.

At the start of the meeting in the Kremlin, the Hungarian politician pointed out the vital role that he believes his country has in the Russian-Ukrainian war. “The number of countries that can talk to both sides is drastically reduced, and soon Hungary could become the unique in being able to do so“, said Orbán, who is serving as the rotating president of the European Union in the second half of 2024.

The visit has caused a stir in Brussels. The EU’s High Representative for Common Foreign and Security Policy, Joseph Borrellhas highlighted that Orbán does not have a mandate from the bloc to travel to Russia, and therefore did not go to Moscow on behalf of the Twenty-Seven. According to the head of European diplomacy, the EU’s position on Russia, due to the war with Ukraine, “excludes official contacts between the EU and President Putin. The Hungarian Prime Minister therefore does not represent the EU in any way.”

The President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyenhas also criticized the trip. “Appeasement will not stop Putin. Only unity and determination will pave the way to a comprehensive, fair and lasting peace in Ukraine,” he said in X.

The Secretary General of the I’LL TAKE, Jens Stoltenberghas assured that Orbán does not represent the Alliance during the visit to Moscow. “Viktor Orbán is not representing NATO at these meetings. He is representing his own country“Stoltenberg said during a press conference prior to the summit that the allied leaders will hold next week in Washington. In fact, the Norwegian politician said he hoped that during the summit of Washington the allies have the opportunity to discuss with Orbán his visit to Moscow.

Orbán met with the president in kyiv on Tuesday Volodímir Zelenski. He Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine He said that the trip to Moscow was not coordinated with Ukraine. “We remind you that for our State the principle of ‘there is no agreements on Ukraine without Ukraine“It remains unwavering and we call on all states to strictly respect it,” the ministry added in a statement.

Budapest-Moscow connection

War consumes a lot of resources and the Kremlin wants to find a way to sign peace as soon as possible but without giving up on any of its objectives. For this reason, Putin welcomes the Orbán’s pragmatism. “Russia and Hungary continue to cooperate in a number of areas, primarily in the energy sector. And the key principles are healthy pragmatism and mutual benefit“the Russian leader said. He himself has assured that Russia seeks “a complete and definitive end to the conflict.” The Russian peace offer includes the recognition of the annexed regions (Kherson, Zaporizhia, Donetsk and Lugansk) and the withdrawal of kyiv’s troops from these territories, something that Ukraine flatly rejects.

Despite the good understanding between Orbán and Putin, the former sees no chance of peace being signed soon. “The positions are very far apart Yes. There are many steps to take to get closer to the end of the war“He said after his meeting with the Russian president. With this visit, the Hungarian prime minister became the first Western leader to visit Russia since the beginning of the Russo-Ukrainian war.

In February 2022, a few weeks before the outbreak of the conflict, he himself met with Putin to discuss what was then called “Ukrainian crisis“, a meeting that was criticized by the opposition in his own country, considering that betrayed the interests of his own nationAt that meeting, both leaders sought to reach an agreement on gas supplies, with the Central European country being one of the few that has not reduced its consumption of Russian hydrocarbons since the war began.

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