Prime Minister Viktor Orbán held telephone talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday and proposed an immediate ceasefire in the Russia-Ukraine war.
According to MTI, PM Orbán also proposed early talks between the presidents of Russia, Ukraine and France, as well as the chancellor of Germany in Budapest to reach an agreement on the ceasefire. PM Orbán said Putin’s response had been positive, but also quoted the Russian president as saying that Russia had certain conditions for a ceasefire, which he should first discuss with his Ukrainian counterpart. He said Hungary had a special position “on the eastern border of the western world”, adding that Hungary’s experience showed “how brutal wars can be” while “occupation is not such a rare occurrence in this region”. “We understand this whole thing and know that wars never end as they start, and will become more and more brutal as time goes by,” he said, adding that was why he proposed an immediate ceasefire to Putin. Hungary has an “uncompromising” position concerning peace because Transcarpathia has over 200,000 ethnic Hungarians and “Hungary has a responsibility for their lives”.
Answering a question, PM Orbán said Russian President Vladimir Putin, former US President Donald Trump and Turkish President Recep Tajjip Erdogan had congratulated him by phone on his election win. Asked about developments in Ukraine, PM Orbán said “this is a war that Russia started attacking Ukraine, which is aggression”, adding that it was the European Union’s position “which Hungary shares”. He urged an independent and impartial probe into the atrocities, and said the Turkish president also proposed such investigations. Civilians must be protected and violence against them must be “most firmly condemned”, he said. He warned, however, that “we should not chase illusions” because “neither Russia nor the US recognize the powers of the International Court of Justice in the Hague”.
In his response to a question if Putin asked him to veto European sanctions concerning Russian gas and oil imports, PM Orbán said Russia was “aware of the situation, in which NATO and EU member Hungary is in opposition to Russia”. “Therefore the Russians will never ask for anything,” he added. Hungary and Russia have built well-functioning ties “which are now being destroyed”, and which the Hungarian government is trying to save “but the sanctions and western pressure could be so strong that there may be nothing left”, the prime minister said. Answering another question PM Orbán said Hungary-Russia ties were “fair”, adding that “the Russians have not deceived us and we have not deceived them once” in the past 12 years. He also added that if Russia wants payment in roubles “it will be no problem for us”.
Photo credit: MTI