NewsOrban’s surprise diplomacy: Unexpected trips to Moscow and beyond

Orban’s surprise diplomacy: Unexpected trips to Moscow and beyond

Orban prepares new "surprises". Another one on Monday
Orban prepares new "surprises". Another one on Monday
Images source: © EPA, PAP | ANGELO CARCONI
Violetta Baran

7 July 2024 20:43

Orban's unexpected visit to Moscow is not the last surprise the Hungarian Prime Minister plans. In an interview with the Swiss weekly Die Weltwoche, he revealed that he plans to organise a series of "equally surprising" visits. The next one is scheduled to take place as early as Monday. Orban did not disclose the purpose of his trip, but according to Hungarian media, his plane is already en route to China.

- In the coming week, I have planned several meetings that will surely surprise many - revealed Orban. - Only when I arrive will everyone be astonished that I am there - he added.

- Another surprise awaits us on Monday morning - disclosed the Hungarian Prime Minister.

Orban did not inform where he plans to go on Monday. However, as established by the Hungarian service 444.hu, the military-governmental Dassault Falcon 7X plane is en route from Budapest to Beijing.

Last Friday, the Hungarian Prime Minister travelled to Moscow three days after his unexpected visit to Kyiv. It was his first visit to the Ukrainian capital since the Russian invasion in February 2022. During talks with the Ukrainian President, Volodymyr Zelensky, Orban discussed, among other things, the potential for a ceasefire and the initiation of peace talks.

- I am currently the only leader from the West who can hold a dialogue simultaneously in Kyiv and Moscow - stated the Hungarian Prime Minister. - Everyone else has led to a situation where they are unable to communicate directly with both sides, especially Russia - the politician added.

During discussions with the Russian President Vladimir Putin, Orban discussed current peace initiatives, the possibility of a ceasefire and negotiations, and also future relations in Europe after the conflict ends.

"The information leaked when we asked to fly over Poland"

- Regardless of the political price I will have to pay in Brussels, I am trying to do something because my country currently holds the presidency of the EU Council, and I am the person who can talk to everyone - emphasised the head of the Hungarian government.

Orban previously admitted that Hungary does not have a mandate to negotiate on behalf of the EU regarding the war in Ukraine. Nevertheless, he declared that he wanted to understand the positions of both sides of the conflict. The Hungarian Prime Minister is preparing a report on this issue for the members of the European Council.

In an interview with "Die Weltwoche," Orban emphasised that his trip to Moscow was planned in secrecy, and information about it was disclosed only after his Tuesday visit to Kyiv. - The information about the meeting in Moscow leaked only when we asked to fly over Poland - Orban explained.

Orban's first meeting with Putin occurred in 2009 when the Hungarian politician was still in opposition. The last meeting before the Friday visit to Moscow occurred in early February 2022, just three weeks before the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

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