Hungarian PM Orban faces criticism for visit with Putin, calls it 'first steps toward peace'

Critics say this could "undermine Ukraine’s call for more support.”

Published: July 7, 2024 12:01pm

Updated: July 7, 2024 2:57pm

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban visited Ukraine and Russia this week, starting the day after Hungary took over the rotating six-month position as head of the Council of the European Union.

The Washington Post wrote that “Though the rotating presidency [of the E.U.] yields little power, it gives Orban and his government a platform — one he could use to amplify the views of Europe’s ascendant far right and potentially undermine Ukraine’s call for more support.”

Before setting out on this trip, Orban tweeted, “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 tool in making the first steps towards #peace. This is what our peace mission is about.”

Orban said that he asked Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky “to consider whether it might be possible to do things a bit differently — to stop the fire and then negotiate with Russia, as a cease-fire would speed up the pace of these negotiations.”

Following his visit to Moscow, Orban tweeted that “I have concluded my talks in #Moscow with President Putin. My goal was to open the channels of direct communication and start a dialogue on the shortest road to #peace. Mission accomplished! To be continued on Monday."

Orban’s trip to Russia brought charges that he is more of an ally to Putin than a representative voice of the EU and NATO.

But for now the consensus of the EU and the U.S. is to allow Zelensky to set the terms that would need to be met before agreeing to a ceasefire. He has set forth a 10-point peace plan that does not envision a cessation of hostilities while Russian troops are still occupying Ukraine. They say it would give Russia the chance to rearm and continue their efforts at seizing Ukrainian territory.

The Facts Inside Our Reporter's Notebook

Unlock unlimited access

  • No Ads Within Stories
  • No Autoplay Videos
  • VIP access to exclusive Just the News newsmaker events hosted by John Solomon and his team.
  • Support the investigative reporting and honest news presentation you've come to enjoy from Just the News.
  • Just the News Spotlight

    Support Just the News