Orban Travels to Moscow for Talks with Putin on Ukraine Conflict

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban has arrived in Moscow for an official visit, where he is scheduled to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin to discuss potential solutions to the conflict in Ukraine.

Orban’s press secretary, Bertalan Havasi, announced the visit, stating that the Hungarian leader traveled to Russia “as part of a peacekeeping mission.”

Several top EU officials have publicly criticized Orban’s plans to visit Russia. European Council President Charles Michel condemned the trip, asserting that Hungary “has no mandate to engage with Russia on behalf of the EU.” Hungary currently holds the EU’s rotating presidency.

However, Orban maintains that he doesn’t require any mandate to promote peace, emphasizing that his discussions are not formal negotiations. He acknowledges that his country has limited political influence and suggests that larger powers are more likely to lead peace talks to resolve the Ukraine crisis.

“But we can be a good tool in the hands of God, we can be a good tool in the hands of people who want peace,” the prime minister said before his trip to Moscow.

Earlier this week, Orban visited Kiev, where he urged Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to consider an immediate ceasefire.

His proposal, however, was met with resistance. Following the visit, Orban reported that Zelensky had “some doubts” about the ceasefire suggestion and “didn’t like it very much” due to “bad experience in the past with ceasefires.”