Voice of America: The EU will meet to discuss Orbánʼs “peace mission” to Russia and China

Oleksandra Opanasenko

Ambassadors of 27 European Union countries will gather in Brussels on July 10 to discuss the actions of the Hungarian government at the beginning of Hungaryʼs six-month presidency of the EU Council.

Voice of America writes about it.

The meeting of the ambassadors was initiated by Poland due to the fact that the Prime Minister of Hungary Viktor Orban went to Russia and China immediately after the beginning of the presidency. He called it a "peace mission", and one of the topics of the meeting was the discussion of Russiaʼs war in Ukraine and its possible end.

Orban himself, explaining the purpose of the visit, admitted that he was not authorized by the European Union to negotiate. On the other hand, Orbán emphasizes that his activities are related to Hungaryʼs EU presidency. So the ambassadors, in turn, plan to evaluate Orbánʼs recent visits.

The speaker of the European Commission Eric Mamer said at a briefing on July 9 that Budapest did not contact the European Commission before Orbánʼs visit to Moscow and Beijing.

What preceded

On July 2, Orban came to Kyiv, where he held talks with Zelensky. It was his first visit to Ukraine since the beginning of the full-scale war. During the meeting, Orban called the war an invasion of Russia, but asked Zelensky for a ceasefire.

Already on July 5, Orban came to Moscow and met with the leader of the Russian Federation, Vladimir Putin. One of the key topics of the meeting was the Russian Federationʼs war against Ukraine and its "peaceful settlement". Orban himself called his trip a "peace mission."

And already on July 8, Orban came to China as part of his "peace mission". On the same day, Zelensky said that he did not know that Orban would go to Moscow after Kyiv. He noted that Orban cannot be a mediator in the issue of the end of the war — such a role can be played by the USA, China and the collective EU, that is, forces that are able to restrain Russia economically and militarily.

In a non-public letter to the EU leadership, Orban spoke about Russian leader Vladimir Putinʼs confidence in the defeat of Ukraine. At the end of the letter, Orbán summarizes that Europe should show an autonomous initiative, since everyone in the US is too busy with the election campaign. Orban also writes that in the conversation, Putin often refers to the so-called Istanbul agreements of 2022. They also discussed the "China-Brazil peace plan" — it does not clearly state the territorial integrity of Ukraine, and in it China actually proposes to freeze the front line at the positions that will exist at the time of the decision.