Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban reportedly called on the EU to “launch a European initiative” to start peace talks in Ukraine excluding US involvement and including China.

Orban also reportedly claimed that China and Russia assumed peace talks on Ukraine would commence before the end of 2024.

As reported by Spanish news outlet El Pais, the comments were outlined in two confidential reports to European Council President Charles Michel and EU leaders following his meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping respectively.

Orban’s visits, undertaken after Hungary assumed the six-month rotating presidency in the EU Council, were not sanctioned by the bloc.

It’s not clear how the news outlet obtained the confidential reports.

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On meeting with Putin

Following his meeting with Putin, Orban claimed in the first confidential report, dated July 5, that Putin was “open to ceasefire proposals” and called on Europe to seize the opportunity – even though Putin’s terms effectively meant the surrender of Kyiv troops.

“Based on my conversations, I believe that there is now a greater chance that all possible proposals for a ceasefire and a roadmap for peace talks will be received positively,” Orban said in his report in the form of a diplomatic cable.

He also called on the EU to take up the initiative “in the spirit of European strategic autonomy” without waiting for the US due to the latter’s elections in November.

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“The political leadership provided by the United States is limited due to the ongoing election campaign. Therefore, we cannot expect it to present any such proposal in the coming months. We should consider [that it is] in the spirit of European strategic autonomy to launch a European initiative,” he said.

Orban also touched on Putin’s optimistic evaluation of Russian troops’ performance and other peace formulas, including the Istanbul Agreements 2022 ultimately derailed following the Bucha massacre. The content of the July 5 report was detailed in a recent Kyiv Post article

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On meeting with Xi

In another confidential report obtained by El Pais, dated July 8, Orban detailed his conversations with Xi and relayed the latter’s message to the EU representatives.

Orban said the November elections in the US were among the topics discussed with Xi. He said the new administration might be interested in “rapid and intensive peace talks,” to which Xi reportedly “made no comments on the possibility of this scenario.”

 “I put forward the idea that a newly elected president will face pressure to present a quick political result, even before taking office … A ceasefire preceding peace talks, as well as rapid and intensive peace talks, could be in the interest of a new administration,” Orban reportedly told Xi.

According to Orban, Beijing sees itself as an “honest mediator.” He relayed Beijing’s message on moving forward with its own 12-point peace formula, which generally disregards Ukraine’s territorial sovereignty.

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“President Xi sees China’s policy as a policy of peace, while the policy of the United States and Europe is a policy of war in which Europe automatically follows the American line,” said Orban in his report.

Orban called criticisms and concerns about his unsanctioned visits “unfounded” in his reports and said that he did not present any proposal on behalf of the European Council.

Meanwhile, Russia continues to shoot missiles at Ukrainian military and civilian targets. More than 40 people were killed on Monday in attacks that included a children's hospital in Kyiv, which Russia hit with an X-101 missile. 

Despite Russia's unprovoked full-scale invasion of Ukraine, Hungary remains a steadfast Kremlin ally.

As of 2024, Budapest relied on Russia for 75 percent of its natural gas, 80 percent of its oil, and 100 percent of its nuclear fuel.

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