Orban visits Zelensky in Ukraine | EUROtoday

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KYIV — Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban, the European Union’s most outstanding critic of offering Ukraine with navy help, arrived in Kyiv on Tuesday in his first go to since Russia’s invasion greater than two years in the past.

His assembly with President Volodymyr Zelensky comes only a day after Hungary took over the six-month rotating presidency of the Council of the E.U. and is a uncommon gesture in what has been a fraught relationship between the leaders of the neighboring nations.

Orban has repeatedly blocked or weakened European efforts to supply Ukraine with safety help all through the conflict, irritating Zelensky. He doesn’t allow donated Western weapons to be transferred to Ukraine over the 2 nations’ shared border.

On Tuesday, Orban urged Ukraine ought to comply with a cease-fire with Russia as a part of an effort to start negotiations to finish the combating. Kyiv has outlined a 10-point peace plan that it has requested nations to assist, nevertheless it has rejected agreeing to a cessation of hostilities whereas Russian troops are nonetheless occupying Ukraine as a result of it may simply give Moscow a chance to rearm and renew its assaults geared toward seizing Ukrainian territory.

“I told [Zelensky] that his initiatives require a lot of time due to international diplomatic rules,” Orban stated Tuesday. He added that he requested Zelensky “to consider whether it might be possible to do things a bit differently — to stop the fire and then negotiate with Russia, as a cease-fire would speed up the pace of these negotiations.”

Orban has additionally delayed Ukraine’s bid to affix the 27-member bloc. In December, the Hungarian chief left the room throughout a gathering with E.U. counterparts to abstain from a vote to open Ukraine accession talks, permitting different leaders to vote unanimously in favor. In October, Orban met Russian President Vladimir Putin on the sidelines of an occasion in China.

Budapest claims that Kyiv is failing to ensure the rights of its Hungarian minority in Ukraine’s western Zakarpattia area. Orban’s authorities has offered an inventory of 11 situations associated to the minority’s authorized safety earlier than it agrees to Ukraine’s E.U. membership.

Though taking over the rotating presidency of the European Union has restricted energy, some E.U. lawmakers have expressed concern that Hungary’s pro-Russian monitor document makes it unfit for the position. Along with hindering help to Ukraine, Orban has additionally opposed E.U. sanctions on Russia.

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Zelensky wrote Monday on X that he wished Hungary “effectiveness in promoting our shared European values, goals and interests.”

“While advancing on its path to the E.U., Ukraine is ready to contribute to these efforts and strengthen our Europe,” Zelensky stated.

Brady reported from Berlin. Serhiy Morgunov in Kyiv contributed to this report.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2024/07/02/hungary-viktor-orban-visit-ukraine/