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Putin Rejects Peace Terms Other Than His Own in Tense Talks with Hungary’s Orban

WorldRussiaPutin Rejects Peace Terms Other Than His Own in Tense Talks with Hungary’s Orban

In a stark reaffirmation of his uncompromising stance, Russian President Vladimir Putin declared he would not accept any peace terms for Ukraine other than his own following a marathon three-hour meeting with Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban at the Kremlin.

This development underscores the entrenched positions of both Russia and Ukraine in the ongoing conflict, making the prospect of a negotiated peace increasingly elusive.

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A Divided Vision for Peace

The meeting between Putin and Orban highlighted the significant chasm between the visions of Kyiv and Moscow regarding the end of the war.

Orban, fresh from a visit to Kyiv where his proposal for a temporary truce was flatly rejected, faced a similar lack of flexibility from the Russian side.

His mission, ostensibly aimed at fostering dialogue and expediting peace talks, drew sharp criticism from European institutions and member states, who viewed his actions as a potential threat to EU unity over the war in Ukraine.

European Disapproval

European Council President Charles Michel and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen were quick to distance the EU from Orban’s initiative.

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They emphasized that Orban had no mandate from the EU and was acting solely on his own behalf.

In a social media post, von der Leyen stressed that appeasement would not deter Putin, advocating instead for EU unity and determination to achieve a comprehensive, just, and lasting peace in Ukraine.

Putin’s Non-Negotiable Stance

After the talks, Putin reiterated that the conflict could only end on Russian terms. He demanded the complete withdrawal of Ukrainian troops from the Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics, as well as from the Zaporizhzhia and Kherson regions.

He suggested that other conditions would be discussed in detailed joint work, but stressed that only the Russian initiative could halt hostilities and initiate negotiations.

Putin framed this approach as an opportunity for a full and final resolution to the conflict, rather than a chance for Kyiv to regroup and rearm.

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Orban’s Defense

Orban defended his controversial visit, describing Hungary’s EU presidency, which began on July 1, as a “peaceful mission.”

He portrayed the talks with Putin as a preliminary step to restore dialogue, acknowledging that many more steps were needed to end the war.

He argued that peace could not be achieved from a “comfortable armchair in Brussels” and that active efforts were required, despite the rotating EU presidency lacking a mandate to negotiate on the EU’s behalf.

In a joint press conference with Putin, Orban stated that Hungary was the only European country capable of talking to the Kremlin.

He acknowledged the disparity between Ukraine’s and Russia’s visions for ending the conflict, noting that his proposal for a temporary truce had been met with silence in Kyiv.

Unlike the Kremlin, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky insisted on Russia’s withdrawal from occupied Ukrainian territories before any negotiations on ending the war could begin—a stance strongly supported by Kyiv’s Western allies.

Ukrainian Reaction

The Ukrainian Foreign Ministry criticized Orban’s visit, stating it violated an EU-adopted principle that negotiations on Ukraine should include Ukrainian participation. Kyiv noted that Orban’s visit was not mentioned during his talks with Zelensky earlier in the week.

International Condemnation

Swedish Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson condemned Orban’s visit as “irresponsible and disloyal, arguing it sent the wrong message to the world and insulted the Ukrainian people.

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, while using more moderate language, reiterated that Orban represented only Hungary, not Europe, in the Kremlin, and reaffirmed the EU’s steadfast support for Ukraine.

A European Commission spokesperson emphasized that EU unity, rather than private initiatives, was crucial for achieving peace.

The spokesperson noted that EU efforts were currently focused on organizing a second peace conference for Ukraine and that Orban’s visit was not coordinated with Brussels.

This visit “seriously calls into question the planned traditional visit of EU commissioners to the country holding the rotating presidency to discuss legislative priorities, scheduled for early September. According to the spokesperson, this indicated that some actions were “not in the right direction.

Orban’s Justification

Orban defended his actions by stating that Hungary’s EU presidency aimed to foster dialogue and peace.

He stressed that peace could not be achieved from a distance and required direct engagement, even though his visit to Moscow was independently orchestrated and not backed by the broader European community.

Conclusion

The discord between EU member states over how to handle the Ukraine crisis is evident in the fallout from Orban’s visit to Moscow.

While Orban frames his mission as a step towards peace, European leaders and institutions maintain that a unified, resolute stance is essential to countering Russian aggression and supporting Ukraine’s sovereignty.

As the war drags on with no end in sight, the rift within the EU over the best approach to achieving peace in Ukraine remains a significant challenge.

Orban’s visit underscores the complexities and geopolitical tensions at play, as well as the difficulties in achieving a consensus within the EU on how to handle one of the most significant conflicts in Europe since World War II.

As both sides in the conflict remain entrenched in their positions, the path to peace appears as complicated and fraught as ever.

 

This article was created using automation technology and was thoroughly edited and fact-checked by one of our editorial staff members

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