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Hungary’s Orban in China for Talks on ‘Ukraine Peace Mission’

Orban arrives for talks with Xi Jinping. He is believed to be negotiating a potential peace deal to end the war in Ukraine, as well as holding trade deals


Chinese President Xi Jinping, left, speaks during a recent visit to Hungary, as Orban, right, listens (Reuters).

 

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban flew into Beijing on Monday after meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow.

Orban, whose country assumed rotating presidency of the European Union this month, is believed to be negotiating a potential peace deal to end the war in Ukraine, although his ‘mission’ with Putin has upset some EU leaders.

Orban said on his X account he was on a “Peace Mission 3.0”. Chinese state media reported his arrival.

 

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China, which has close ties to Russia, has been trying to enlist countries to join a six-point peace plan it issued with Brazil in May.

Orban’s visit comes after he held talks with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy in Kyiv and also went to the Kremlin. But his visit to Moscow drew a strong rebuke from his EU allies.

“Appeasement will not stop Putin,” European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen wrote on X on Friday, following Orban’s meeting with the Russian leader.

Now in China, Orban was due to meet Chinese President Xi Jinping at the Diaoyutai State Guest house in Beijing, where senior foreign visitors are sometimes received.

“Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s peace mission continues,” Bertalan Havasi, Orban’s press chief, told Hungarian state news agency MTI.

Orban is a critic of Western military aid to Ukraine and is the EU leader with the warmest relations with Xi and Putin.

Hungary has also become an important trade and investment partner for China, in contrast with some other EU nations seeking to become less dependent on the world’s second-largest economy.

His trip to China comes days ahead of a NATO summit that will address providing further support to Ukraine.

The China trip also follows the European Commission confirming last week that it will impose tariffs of up to 37.6% on imports of electric vehicles made in China.

 

  • Reuters with additional editing by Jim Pollard

 

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Jim Pollard

Jim Pollard is an Australian journalist based in Thailand since 1999. He worked for News Ltd papers in Sydney, Perth, London and Melbourne before travelling through SE Asia in the late 90s. He was a senior editor at The Nation for 17+ years.

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