Hungarian PM: Trump the best 'hope for peace' in Ukraine

"I belong to the peace camp, so I am for an immediate cease-fire, no matter what the Ukrainians think of it."

Updated: October 11, 2022 - 10:23pm

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Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán called for an immediate ceasefire between Russia and Ukraine and for former U.S. President Donald Trump to lead negotiations on behalf of the United States to end the conflict.

The European leader stressed that a lasting end to the conflict would require agreement between Moscow and Washington, which has strongly backed Kyiv's bid to maintain its territorial integrity.

"It would be better if the public didn't hear what I'm saying now... The cease-fire does not have to be between Russia and Ukraine but between Russia and the USA," he stated, per The Hill, which relayed German language reporting from Cicero Magazine.

"I belong to the peace camp, so I am for an immediate cease-fire, no matter what the Ukrainians think of it," Orbán continued. "That distinguishes me from those who want to derive decisions from Ukrainian interests."

Moscow currently occupies large swaths of Ukraine's southern territories along the Black Sea coast and has formally annexed them into the Russian Federation. A ceasefire would leave that territory in Russian hands, pending the outcome of peace negotiations.

Orbán went on to criticize U.S. President Joe Biden's rhetoric on the conflict, saying "Joe Biden went too far with his comments about Putin."

"The hope for peace is Donald Trump," he added.

Trump himself has previously weighed into the conflict, deriding Biden's handling of the war and offering to lead an American delegation to negotiate its end.

"Be strategic, be smart (brilliant!), get a negotiated deal done NOW," Trump posted on Truth Social in late September.  "Both sides need and want it. The entire World is at stake. I will head up group???" 

Trump and Orbán have maintained a cordial relationship, even after Biden took office. The Hungarian leader won a fourth term in office earlier this year in a landslide victory, after which he labelled Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky an "opponent." Hungary relies on Russia for much of its energy needs.

The 45th president congratulated him on the electoral victory and later met with the European leader to celebrate. Like Trump, Orbán has advocated for stricter border controls and has worked to curtail migration despite Hungary's membership in a free travel zone as part of the European Union.