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Ukraine foreign minister meets Hungarian counterpart after Orban's 'peace mission' to Kyiv, Moscow

by Kateryna Hodunova and The Kyiv Independent news desk July 10, 2024 7:55 PM  (Updated: ) 2 min read
Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba met Hungarian counterpart Peter Szijjarto on July 10, 2024. (Dmytro Kuleba / X)
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Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba met his Hungarian counterpart Peter Szijjarto on July 10 after Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban visited Ukraine and Russia on what he called a "peace mission."

During a meeting between the foreign ministers, Kuleba said he briefed his counterpart on the situation on the front line and preparations for a second peace summit.

Kuleba added that no peace initiatives can be based on "Russia's narratives."

Russian President Vladimir Putin said in June that, as a condition for peace negotiations, Ukrainian troops must leave Donetsk, Luhansk, Kherson and Zaporizhzhia oblasts. He added that Ukraine must recognize Russia's illegal annexation of the regions and abandon any ambition to join NATO.

Kuleba in his post on X also recalled the recent Russian July 8 attack, which targeted the Okhmatdyt children's hospital. The attack against the medical facility killed two people, including a doctor, and wounded 32 others.

He stressed that the attack once again demonstrated that Putin continues to "seek war."

"We must jointly make him accept just and lasting peace," he said.

The parties also discussed further joint steps to develop bilateral relations.

Later in the day, Szijjarto said that he had handed Kuleba an action plan for the development of cross-border economic cooperation and the creation of special economic zones, the Hungarian news outlet Telex reported.

"I have proposed the construction of new border crossings, the renovation of the Tisza bridge and new rail links, and also that we should strengthen our cooperation in the field of energy because it is obvious that if two neighboring countries cooperate, energy security can be mutually improved," Szijjarto said.

Szijjarto added that this plan would place relations with Ukraine in a "different development framework."

Kyiv will study the plan and send back its proposals, according to Szijjarto.

Shortly after Hungary took over the rotating presidency on July 1, Orban visited Kyiv for the first time since the start of the full-scale war.

During his talks with President Volodymyr Zelensky, he urged him to consider a ceasefire as a step toward peace, which the Zelensky dismissed, saying it would only provide a window of opportunity for Russia to regroup its forces.

Just days after meeting Zelensky in Kyiv, Orban visited Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow on July 5.

Hungary has remained the most Kremlin-friendly country within the EU and has repeatedly opposed Ukraine's accession to NATO and the European bloc, obstructed sanctions on Russia, and undermined Western aid efforts for Ukraine.

After meeting both Zelensky and Putin, Orban publicly acknowledged that the views of the two countries on peace prospects are "very far apart."

The prime minister's trip to Moscow sparked outrage in the EU, and his "mission" is to be discussed by European diplomats in Brussels on July 10, Politico reported.

Orban lays out Putin’s views on war in leaked letter to European Council
Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban summarized his talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow while echoing the Kremlin’s stances on its war against Ukraine in a letter obtained by Politico and published on July 9.

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