Orban claims that Putin, Xi hope for Ukraine peace negotiations by end of current year


(MENAFN) Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban has communicated to European Union officials that Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping are anticipating the commencement of peace negotiations between Russia and Ukraine before the conclusion of 2024, according to documents obtained by Spanish newspaper El Pais.

El Pais reported on Wednesday that Orban conveyed this information in a diplomatic cable addressed to European Council President Charles Michel and leaders of European Union member states. The Hungarian leader purportedly clarified his recent discussions with Putin, Xi, and Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky in response to inquiries from EU counterparts.

In the document, Orban reportedly asserted that with the United States currently focused on its forthcoming presidential election, there exists an opportune moment for "a European initiative" to resolve the conflict, with potential subsequent backing from the United States.

"I suggested that a newly elected [US] president will face pressure to achieve swift political outcomes even before taking office," Orban wrote, referencing his conversation with Xi. "A ceasefire preceding peace negotiations, coupled with expedited and robust peace talks, could serve the interests of a new administration."

While Xi did not offer explicit remarks on the feasibility of this scenario, Orban characterized China as a credible mediator capable of facilitating honest mediation between Moscow and Kiev.

Orban conveyed in the cables that both Xi and Putin foresee the initiation of peace discussions in some form by the end of the current year. He further noted that Putin, given the significant losses suffered by Ukraine on the battlefield, expressed surprise at Kiev's outright rejection of Orban's proposal for a "swift ceasefire" aimed at expediting the peace negotiation process.

This diplomatic exchange, as reported by El Pais, underscores evolving dynamics and potential pathways towards resolving the Ukraine conflict, amidst shifting geopolitical considerations and international diplomatic efforts.

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