Polish PM Donald Tusk: 'Orban's Visit to Moscow Can't Be True, or Can It?'

The entire European Union was surprised by the news that the Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of Hungary will visit Vladimir Putin in Moscow, just a few days after Prime Minister Orban visited Zelenskiy in Ukraine

by Sededin Dedovic
Polish PM Donald Tusk: 'Orban's Visit to Moscow Can't Be True, or Can It?'
© Omar Marques / Getty Images

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban will travel to Moscow on July 5 to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin. His visit to Russia comes just a few days after he met with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in Kyiv.

Additionally, the Hungarian Prime Minister is heading to Moscow only five days after his country assumed the presidency of the European Union. Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto will also visit the Kremlin with Orban, a government source told Radio Free Europe.

Szijjarto has visited Russia more than five times since Moscow attacked Ukraine.

The Minister of Foreign Affairs of Hungary, Peter Szijjarto© Omar Marques / getty Images

Since the beginning of the invasion in February 2022, Orban has been among the few EU and NATO leaders reluctant to send weapons and military aid to Ukraine.

The nationalist Hungarian leader, who has been in power since 2010, has also criticized Brussels' move to open formal membership negotiations with Ukraine, though he was restrained and did not use the option to veto the decision.

Orban formed an alliance with Austrian and Czech nationalist parties. Earlier this year, EU leaders needed weeks to persuade the Hungarian Prime Minister not to veto 50 billion euros of new aid to Ukraine. Despite sharing a border with Ukraine, Hungary has taken in significantly fewer refugees than most EU members.

Last year, Orban told Putin that Hungary never wanted to confront Russia. Putin said last month that Russia would end the war in Ukraine only if Kyiv met certain conditions. These include abandoning NATO ambitions and ceding four territories that Russia has partially annexed, as well as Crimea.

Ukraine rejected these conditions, calling them absurd. Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban speaks with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky during the European Council summit in Brussels on June 27. While in Kyiv, Orban, who maintains a close relationship with Putin, said he presented Zelensky with a proposal for a ceasefire aimed at pausing the two-year conflict with Russia.

Russian President Vladimir Putin (L) and Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban© Sean Gallup / getty Images

Recall that Zelensky stated after the meeting that he had asked Orban to join Ukraine's peace efforts, while Orban called for an end to the conflict.

"I called on Hungary and Prime Minister Orban to join efforts to organize a new peace summit for Ukraine," Zelensky said in his daily address to the public. Orban is evidently keen to cover up the lack of democracy and human rights in Hungary, as well as his completely unacceptable closeness to Putin's regime.

Orban last visited Moscow in September 2022 when he attended the funeral of former Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev. Deputy Head of the Ukrainian President's Office Ihor Zhovkva said on local television that Zelensky "heard Orban's proposal for a ceasefire but conveyed his position on it." The peace plan advocated by Zelensky since the beginning of the war includes the withdrawal of Russian forces from Ukrainian territory, the trial of Russian officials before an international court, and Russia paying reparations.

Russia has rejected such a plan. Since that plan failed to gain support during the peace summit held in June in Switzerland, without Russia, Zelensky has stated that he is working on a new plan to end the conflict, aiming to garner more international community support.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has proposed his own solution: that Ukraine cedes five regions partially occupied by Moscow and renounces joining NATO. This solution was rejected by both Ukraine and Western countries. The Kremlin will never admit its guilt, give up the war, or abandon its image as a guardian of traditional values.

The propaganda myth of recent years describes Russia as a unique civilization, capable, unlike others, of fully integrating different peoples.

Polish Prime Minister surprised by Orban's visit to Moscow

Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk expressed surprise in a social media post on X after learning that Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban might visit Moscow just a few days after his trip to Kyiv.

"Rumors of your visit to Moscow cannot be true, Viktor, or can they?" Tusk wrote, tagging the official profile of the Hungarian Prime Minister. The information about Orban's trip to Russia was published by Hungarian journalist Szabolcs Panyi and confirmed by sources at Radio Free Europe.

The Hungarian government has yet to confirm or deny the visit. An anonymous European Union (EU) official told Radio Free Europe that Orban did not inform Brussels of his trip to Moscow. "If Orban had asked, Charles Michel would have strongly advised against such a visit," the official said.

Orban was in Kyiv on Tuesday, where he suggested to Ukrainians that they agree to a ceasefire. President Volodymyr Zelensky rejected the idea. Hungary took over its six-month presidency of the Council of the European Union on Monday.

European Union Vladimir Putin Ukraine