Orbán’s writes letter to EU Council president on Russia-Ukraine talks

Giuseppe de vita
credit: lemonde

Brussels (Brussels Morning) – Hungarian PM Viktor Orbán visited Russia, discussed Ukraine with Putin and wrote to EU leaders. Orbán emphasized he didn’t represent the EU, noted differing views on the frontline situation, and mentioned potential ceasefire conditions.

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán has penned a letter to European Council President Charles Michel and EU heads after he visited Russia including a “summary” of his discussions with Russian leader Vladimir Putin, in which he repeated Russian stance about “peace for Ukraine”.

Did Orbán represent the EU during his visit?

The Hungarian PM urges in the letter that he “did not put forth any proposal and did not express any opinion on behalf of the European Council or the European Union” during the visit and that any words to the contrary are “unfounded”.

Speaking about his discussion with Putin, Orbán that the Russian leader’s attitude to the frontline situation “differs substantially from that of President Zelenskyy“.

“Putin did not make any reference to Russian casualties. As regards Ukrainian losses, the Russian side estimates the monthly losses and casualties of the Ukrainian forces between 40-50 thousand soldiers, which strengthened further in the past weeks. Therefore the [leader] of Russia was surprised by the fact that the President of Ukraine rejected a temporary ceasefire,” he stated.

What are the conditions for a possible ceasefire?

The letter states, however, that Putin is prepared to assume a possible ceasefire that “does not serve the secret relocation and reorganisation of Ukrainian forces.”

The Hungarian PM said that Russia – according to Putin – is only ready to agree to the conditions set during the exchanges in Istanbul in April 2022, “especially the document’s 5th paragraph that establishes the international security guarantees to be given to Ukraine”. This guides the veto for the so-called security guarantors for Ukraine in case of the use of force against it, and Russia desired to see itself among these guarantors.

The letter goes on to state that Moscow is prepared to “exchange views” on the so-called peace proposition put forward by China and Brazil. This “proposal” envisages “peace talks” between Ukraine and Russia and makes no recognition of the need to restore Ukraine’s territorial integrity and sovereignty.

Orbán devoted the rest of the letter to repeating his statements that Europe needs peace for economic prosperity and that the prospects of peace are decreasing because “diplomatic channels are barred and there is no direct dialogue between the parties”.

Earlier, after his journey to Moscow, Viktor Orbán stated he had kept these programs hidden from his Western allies until recently and pledged more “surprise meetings” shortly.

Meanwhile, the ambassadors of EU member states plan to raise the issue of Orbán’s visits to Ukraine with his self-proclaimed “peace mission” at the next session of the EU Committee of Permanent Representatives.

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Giuseppe De Vita is a journalist at Brussels Morning News, He is covering European politics, Law and Technology news. Lawyer at De Vita & Partners Law Firm specializing in Criminal Law, Military and Space Law, and Cyber Security. In April 2023, he authored the monograph "Governance in Extraterrestrial Space", showcasing his extensive legal expertise. He has acquired vast experience in handling criminal and civil matters, managing litigation before various levels of jurisdiction across the national territory. In 2010, he obtained a Master's degree in Information Technology Law. Additionally, in the same year, he served as a teacher in criminal-IT subjects at the Penitentiary Police School of Portici, providing courses aimed at officials and managers of the Penitentiary Police and the Penitentiary Administration, focusing on IT security. He also serves as a Workplace Safety teacher, conducting training courses at various organizations and educational institutions. Moreover, he is a lecturer on Anti-Corruption and Transparency. The law firm, under his guidance, assists both private and corporate clients in court, accumulating significant experience in criminal and civil disputes over the years. Furthermore, it conducts Risk Management and Compliance, Cyber Resilience, and Cyber Security activities, with a specific focus on privacy protection (EU Regulation 2016/679 - GDPR). Giuseppe frequently publishes articles in legal journals, analyzing various regulatory issues. He has contributed articles to the legal journal Altalex, of which he is also a member of the Scientific Committee.