Hungary’s Orban Visits Ukraine, Suggests Zelensky Consider a Ceasefire

A Ukrainian official said Zelensky dismissed the proposal

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban made his first wartime visit to Ukraine on Tuesday and suggested to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky that he agree to a ceasefire with Russia.

Zelensky’s so-called “peace formula,” which he has been pushing as a way to end the war, requires a full Russian withdrawal from Ukraine before negotiations can even happen, a non-starter for talks with Moscow. Orban said he told Zelensky that he should consider agreeing to a ceasefire first.

“I asked the president to think about whether we could reverse the order, and speed up peace talks, with making a ceasefire first,” Orban said at a joint press conference with the Ukrainian leader. “A ceasefire connected to a deadline would give a chance to speed up peace talks. I explored this possibility with the president and I am grateful for his honest answers and negotiation.”

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban shakes hands with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy in Ukraine’s capital Kyiv during his first visit to the country since Russia’s invasion in February 2022. (Kyodo)

Ihor Zhovkva, the deputy head of Ukraine’s presidential official, later said that Zelensky dismissed Orban’s proposal. “The President of Ukraine listened to him, but in response, he stated Ukraine’s position – clear, understandable, and well-known,” Zhovkva said, according to The Kyiv Independent.

While Hungary is a NATO member, Orban has been one of the most prominent European critics of the proxy war in Ukraine. He has repeatedly delayed EU aid packages to Ukraine and softened some sanctions on Russia. Orban also does not allow his country’s territory to be used to transfer weapons into Ukraine.

Since February 2022, Orban has consistently called for peace talks and a ceasefire in Ukraine, putting him at odds with the US and other NATO countries. The US has discouraged peace talks throughout the war, including in March and April of 2022, when an actual peace deal was on the table.

Author: Dave DeCamp

Dave DeCamp is the news editor of, follow him on Twitter @decampdave.