Viktor Orbán, who said he was on a “peace mission,” faced criticism from European Union officials

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán met with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow on Friday (July 5, 2024). The meeting comes after the prime minister visited Ukraine, where he spoke with President Volodymyr Zelensky.

Peace will not happen on its own, it has to be created, it has to be worked for.” said the Hungarian prime minister during the meeting with Putin, a long-time ally of the Hungarian prime minister.

The leaders discussed bilateral diplomatic relations and the Russian government’s deteriorating relationship with the European bloc. Orban called for an end to the war between Moscow and Kiev, while Putin said he did not agree with a temporary ceasefire.

Hungary has held the rotating presidency of the European Union since early July. During the meeting, Putin suggested that Orbán was representing the European Council, a claim that was promptly denied by European officials.

The European Union’s High Representative for Foreign Affairs, Josep Fontelles, said that Orbán’s visit represents Hungary exclusively. “Positions on Russia’s war against Ukraine exclude official contacts between the European Union and President Putin“, he said on X (ex-Twitter).

In response, Orbán said that political actions yield more results than a democratic approach. He defined the visit to Moscow as “peace mission”.

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen opposed the meeting between leaders. She said: “appeasement won’t stop Putin“.


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