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Putin is confident in Ukraine's defeat: Orban sends non-public letter to EU leadership following his trip to Moscow

Orbán sends non-public letter to EU leadership after trip to Moscow. Source: Russian media

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban reported on his visits to Kyiv and Moscow to the EU leadership in a non-public letter. In it, the politician noted that Russian dictator Vladimir Putin is convinced that "time is not on Ukraine's side."

The content of the letter, which Orban sent to European Council President Charles Michel and the heads of EU member states, was reviewed by the Sistema investigative project. Radio Liberty received it from a European official who wished to remain anonymous. Two other EU officials also confirmed the authenticity of the letter.

In the letter, Orban emphasized that during his trips to Ukraine and Russia, he did not speak on behalf of the entire EU but only wanted to learn about the positions of the parties. Any contrary statements "are groundless," he said.

The Hungarian prime minister noted that Putin's attitude to the situation on the front line "differs significantly from President Zelenskyy's interpretation." In particular, the Russian authorities are convinced that "time is not on the side of Ukraine but on the side of Russian forces."

"Putin did not mention Russian losses in any way. As for the Ukrainian side, the Russian side estimates the monthly losses at 40-50 thousand soldiers, which have increased even more in recent weeks. Therefore, (Putin - Ed.) was surprised that the President of Ukraine rejected the proposal for a temporary ceasefire," the letter reads.

Peace talks

Volodymyr Zelenskyy later said that Ukraine was not ready for a temporary ceasefire as Russia could use this period to build up forces in the occupied territories.

Judging by Orban's statement, Putin fears the same actions on the part of Ukraine. "According to the Russian president, they are ready to consider any proposal for a ceasefire that does not serve as a covert redeployment and regrouping of Ukrainian forces," he wrote.

According to the politician, both Moscow and Kyiv are ready for peace talks only with the participation of both sides. After the Peace Summit in Switzerland, Ukraine announced that it would invite Russia to the next summit. This is the only point in the letter where Orban recounts Ukraine's position on the talks in detail.

The rest of the text on this issue is devoted to the thoughts of the Russian dictator.

Thus, Putin said that he was ready to agree only to the conditions defined during the talks in Istanbul in April 2022, "especially the fifth paragraph of the document, which defines the international security guarantees that should be provided to Ukraine." This refers to the veto right of the so-called guarantors of Ukraine's security over the possible use of force against it, and Russia wanted to see itself among these guarantors.

Moscow also said in the letter that it was "ready to exchange views" on the so-called peace proposal of China and Brazil. It provides for "peace talks" between Ukraine and Russia and does not mention the need to restore Ukraine's territorial integrity and sovereignty.

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