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Orban says Putin has low expectations for ceasefire before serious peace talks

by The Kyiv Independent news desk July 7, 2024 8:22 PM 2 min read
Russian President Vladimir Putin (R) meets with Hungary's Prime Minister Viktor Orban (L) at the Kremlin in Moscow on July 5, 2024. (Photo by Valery Sharifulin/ POOL / AFP via Getty Images)
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Hungary's Prime Minister Viktor Orban said that Russian President Vladimir Putin told him he did not have positive expectations of enacting a ceasefire agreement before serious peace talks begin.

Orban relayed the comments in an interview published July 7 with the editor-in-chief of the Swiss outlet Die Weltwoche.

"He said that he did not have positive expectations about (such a ceasefire.) Zelensky said that he did not have positive expectations because the Russians would use it against Ukraine, and Putin - that the Ukrainians would use this pause against Russia," Orban said.

Orban visited Putin in Moscow on July 5, just days after meeting President Volodymyr Zelensky in Kyiv.

His trips came shortly after Hungary acquired the rotating presidency of the Council of the European Union.

Many European officials expressed anger at Orban's visit to Moscow, and the European Union Council President Charles Michel said that Hungary "has no mandate to engage with Russia on behalf of the EU."

Ukraine's Foreign Ministry echoed the sentiment, saying that "the decision to make this trip was made by the Hungarian side without the agreement or coordination from Ukraine."

The meeting in Moscow had not been shared with Western allies until immediately before the visit. During the same interview, Orban said there would be more "unexpected meetings."

Hungary has remained Russia's closest ally within the EU and has repeatedly opposed Ukraine's accession to NATO and the EU, opposed sanctions on Russia, and undermined Western aid efforts for Ukraine.

Orban arrives in Moscow days after Kyiv trip, meets Putin
Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban arrived in Moscow on July 5, just days after his first trip to Ukraine since the beginning of Russia’s full-scale war, Orban’s press office told the media.

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