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Orban's letter to EU: Putin and Xi Jinping expect Ukraine peace talks by end of year

Orban's letter to EU: Putin and Xi Jinping expect Ukraine peace talks by end of year Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban (Getty Images)
Author: Maria Kholina

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán sent a letter to European Council President Charles Michel and EU leaders following his trips to Ukraine, Russia, and China, citing El Pais.

In the letter, Orbán summarizes his discussions and asserts that Europe must launch a peace initiative without waiting for the United States. According to him, the next two months on the front line in Ukraine will be "more dramatic than ever."

"Based on my conversations, I believe there is now a greater chance that all possible proposals for a ceasefire and a roadmap for peace negotiations will be positively received," he claims in accessed documents.

According to Orbán, the political leadership provided by the United States is limited due to the ongoing election campaign.

"Therefore, we cannot expect them to put forward any such proposal in the coming months. We must consider that a ceasefire aligns with the spirit of European strategic autonomy," he said.

Orbán also mentioned that Chinese leader Xi Jinping conveyed to him that he sees himself as an "honest broker."

"President Xi views China's policy as a policy of peace, while the policy of the US and Europe is a policy of war, in which Europe automatically follows the American line," the Hungarian leader notes in his letter about his visit to Beijing.

Regarding the peace formula, Orbán says that Russian dictator Vladimir Putin considers the proposal laid on the table in the spring of 2022— the only time Kyiv and Moscow held direct negotiations—still relevant.

According to the plan, the Crimean peninsula would remain under Russian occupation but without Ukrainian recognition, Kyiv would renounce NATO membership, a limit would be set on the size and capabilities of the Ukrainian Armed Forces, and several Western countries would provide security guarantees and assistance to Ukraine, which would already be a neutral country, in the event of an attack.

Now Orbán claims that Putin and Xi Jinping assume new peace talks between Russia and Ukraine will take place by the end of the year. He says that the Russian dictator did not mention his own losses on the front but talked about Ukrainian losses—which he claims amount to 40,000 to 50,000 per month—and about the intensification of fighting in recent weeks.

"That's why the Russian president was surprised that the Ukrainian president rejected the proposal for a temporary ceasefire," says Orbán.

Putin also proposed a cessation of hostilities to Ukraine under several conditions that essentially meant the capitulation of Kyiv's forces.

Orbán's 'peace mission'

In early July, Orbán met with President Volodymyr Zelenskyy in Kyiv. This was the Hungarian prime minister's first visit in 12 years. On July 5, Orbán traveled to Moscow for talks with Putin.

On July 8, the Hungarian prime minister met with Chinese leader Xi Jinping.

For more details on Orbán's visit to Moscow, his objectives, and the reaction of European politicians, read the RBC-Ukraine report.