Hungary has included its capital, Budapest, as the site of peace talks between Russia and Ukraine. Budapest could serve as a safe venue for the negotiating delegations from Russia and Ukraine, Hungarian Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó said on Facebook on Friday evening. The online portal “index.hu” reported that he also made this proposal by telephone to his counterparts in Moscow and Kiev.
Sergey Lavrov and Dmitro Kuleba did not reject this proposal, the minister stressed. According to the Kremlin, the peace negotiations are to take place in the Belarusian capital of Minsk, which is unacceptable to Ukraine. Since Belarusian ruler Alexander Lukashenko is seen as a puppet of Kremlin chief Vladimir Putin, the members of the Ukrainian negotiating delegation in Minsk should fear for their safety. In return, Kiev brought the Polish capital Warsaw into play.
Relations between Hungary and Russia have always been considered friendly and Prime Minister Viktor Orbán a good friend of Putin. On February 1, Orban traveled to Moscow with a “peace mission”, as Orban himself called the trip. NATO member Hungary has condemned Russia’s war of aggression in Ukraine, but stressed at the same time that it does not want to be drawn into the conflict. Accordingly, Orbán refuses to supply weapons to the beleaguered eastern neighbor to defend against the Russian invaders.