Hungary’s Orbán calls for peace in Ukraine amid rumours of Moscow visit


Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán has said his country will use its term as president of the Council of the European Union to negotiate peace in Ukraine, with the controversial leader reportedly set to visit Moscow.

After Hungary took over the six-month rotating post on July 1, Orbán posted on the social media platform X: “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 instrument to take the first steps towards peace. This is what our peace mission is about,” he added.

Several media outlets report that Orbán will soon be in Moscow, after his visit to Kiev on Tuesday. It was his first visit since the Russian invasion of Ukraine in February 2022.

Orbán did not mention the possible visit in his message, but did say: “I am going to places where there is a risk of war or where a war would have negative consequences for Europe and Hungary.”

Orbán is widely seen as a sympathizer of Russian President Vladimir Putin and has repeatedly delayed EU negotiations on aid to Ukraine and the imposition of sanctions on Moscow.

During his visit to Kiev, the Hungarian president called on his Ukrainian counterpart Volodymyr Zelensky to consider a ceasefire. There are currently no direct negotiations between Ukraine and Russia.

Orbán became the only EU leader to travel to Russia since the outbreak of the war. In September 2022, he attended the funeral of former Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev.

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