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Hungary calls on Zelensky for a “ceasefire” with Russia

Photo: Genya Savilov Agence France-Presse Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky (right) shakes hands with Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban, whose country has just taken over the presidency of the European Union.

Victoria Lukovenko – Agence France-Presse to kyiv

Published at 11:49 a.m. Updated at 10:08 p.m.

  • Europe

Hungarian leader Viktor Orban, close to Russia and who has just taken over the presidency of the EU, called on Tuesday in Kiev Ukraine for a “ceasefire”, going against the European positions and Volodymyr Zelensky who suggested that he instead align himself with Ukrainian peace efforts.

“I asked President [Zelensky] to quickly consider the possibility of a cease-fire the fire”, which would be “limited in time and would make it possible to accelerate the peace negotiations”, declared Mr. Orban, the only one in the EU to have remained close to the Kremlin since the start of the invasion of Ukraine by Russia in February 2022.

The Ukrainian president's “initiatives”, referring to Ukrainian peace proposals, “take a long time, are slow and complicated due to the rules of international diplomacy”, argued the Hungarian official.

Alongside his guest, the Ukrainian president did not immediately react, but, in his daily address at the end of the day, he, in the form of dismissal, “invited Hungary and Prime Minister Orban to join the efforts deployed “with a view to the organization of a new summit for peace by Ukraine, after that of June in Switzerland where kyiv tried to rally as many countries as possible around his proposals.

US State Department spokesperson Vedant Patel repeated to the press that “the only solution here is for Russia to simply leave the Ukrainian territory”.

Peace Summit

The Ukrainian leader had already rejected the idea of ​​a truce in the past, believing that Moscow would use it to strengthen itself.

The Ukrainian project calls for the total withdrawal of Russian troops from the country, including the Crimean peninsula annexed by Moscow in 2014, and payment for damages caused since the invasion in February 2022. While it was endorsed by several countries supporting Ukraine, it was rejected by several non-Western countries.

“There are encouraging developments” in Ukrainian steps towards the second summit, said Mr. Zelensky.

Last month, Russian President Vladimir Putin demanded that Ukrainian troops abandon territory in the country's south and east if they wanted a ceasefire, demands immediately rejected by Mr. Zelensky and described as an “ultimatum” à la “Hitler”.

Mr. Orban thanked Mr. Zelensky for the “candor” of the conversation and promised to “report” the content of these discussions to the Council of the European Union “so that the necessary European decisions can be taken.”

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Maintain European aid

Volodymyr Zelensky reaffirmed that Mr. Orban's visit, the first to Ukraine since the war, illustrated “common European priorities, how important it is to bring a just peace to Ukraine and the whole of Europe.”

President Zelensky also pleaded for maintaining “at a sufficient level” the military aid paid by Europe to kyiv.

The Hungarian Prime Minister also stands out by his opposition to this assistance. At the start of the year, he vetoed a 50 billion euro package, which was ultimately validated late.

Ukraine has a need crucial Western aid to resist Russia and Washington, its main support, announced on Tuesday an upcoming additional envelope of 2.3 billion dollars, notably for anti-aircraft defense systems.

While the two European leaders were speaking in kyiv, Russian bombings caused other civilian casualties on the same day, killing two women in Nikopol and another in Kherson, two towns in the south of the country.< /p>

“Completely different relationship”

The relations between the two men are therefore delicate and very scrutinized.

However, “it is a completely different relationship between Ukraine and Hungary” now, the Ukrainian president said in his address, while the leader Hungarian, who arrived in Kiev in the morning, spoke of his desire to “improve” bilateral relations, marked in particular by tensions around the Hungarian minority in Ukraine.

Russia tried to disrupt the visit by intervening on this issue: in a telephone conversation on Tuesday, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and his Hungarian counterpart Peter Szijjártó “underlined the need for kyiv to unconditionally guarantee the rights of all national minorities living in the country,” according to a statement from Russian diplomacy.

In kyiv, however, “we are trying to leave the discussions of the past behind us,” assured Mr. Orban. “We are at Ukraine’s disposal and we will do everything we can to help it,” assured the eurosceptic leader, who tried to block Kiev’s accession negotiations with the EU, before resolving to do so.

Teilor Stone

By Teilor Stone

Teilor Stone has been a reporter on the news desk since 2013. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining Thesaxon , Teilor Stone worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my teilor@nizhtimes.com 1-800-268-7116