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Orban reveals Zelensky’s reaction to ceasefire proposal

The Ukrainian leader said he had a “negative experience” with truce talks in the past, according to the Hungarian PM

Ukraine’s Vladimir Zelensky was not receptive to Budapest’s proposal to establish a temporary ceasefire with Russia, according to Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban, who recently traveled to Kiev. 

During his surprise visit on Tuesday, which was his first trip to Ukraine in over a decade, Orban proposed that Zelensky think about “whether it would be possible to take a break. To reach a ceasefire and start negotiations [with Russia] since a quick ceasefire could speed up these negotiations.”  

Ahead of the trip, Orban stated that he hoped to explain to Zelensky that “time is running out and it is important to establish peace, as hundreds of soldiers are dying on the front every day and we do not see how a solution can be found on the battlefield.”  

However, following his conversations with Zelensky, Orban told the Swiss Die Weltwoche news outlet, that the Ukrainian leader “had some doubts” about the ceasefire proposal and “didn’t like it very much.” He explained that Zelensky “had a bad experience in the past with ceasefires, which, in his opinion, did not benefit Ukraine” and because of this believed there were “limits” to what could be achieved. 

While Zelensky himself has not yet commented on Hungary’s proposal, his deputy chief of staff, Igor Zhovka has stated that Ukraine is not interested in Orban’s proposal and claimed that a ceasefire “cannot be considered in isolation.” 

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FILE PHOTO: Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova.
Western talk of Ukraine peace just for show – Moscow

Instead, Zhovka said that Kiev will continue to seek a resolution to the conflict based on Zelensky’s own ‘peace formula’. The ten-point program, initially floated in late 2022, calls for a complete withdrawal of Russian forces from territories Kiev claims as its own, reparation payments and an international war crime tribunal for Russia’s leadership. 

Moscow has vehemently rejected Zelensky’s plan as a non-starter and has stressed that any peace talks with Kiev must be based on “realities on the ground.”  

Meanwhile, Russian President Vladimir Putin has presented his own set of terms for starting ceasefire talks, which include a full Ukrainian withdrawal from the regions that voted to be part of Russia, as well as legally binding guarantees that ensure Ukraine will never become a member of NATO.

July 03, 2024 at 06:51PM

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