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Hungary’s Orban says Trump’s plan to end Ukraine war is to cut funding

Viktor Orban Hungarian Prime Minister (People's Party)

This article was originally published by Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty and is reprinted with permission.

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban, back in the country after a private meeting in the United States with Donald Trump, said the former president has “quite detailed plans” about how to end Russia’s war against Ukraine and won’t give Kyiv any further funding to hasten an end to the conflict.

Speaking in an interview with state-run M1 television late on March 10, Orban, whose government has refused to send weapons to Kyiv while maintaining ties with Moscow, said after his meeting with Trump that “it is obvious that Ukraine on its own cannot stand on its feet.”

The Hungarian prime minister’s trip came as a $60 billion aid package is being held up by Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives, who are insisting border security measures be enacted if they are to support money being sent to Kyiv. The U.S. Senate has already approved the package, much of which is for Ukraine to buy U.S. weapons and military equipment.

U.S. President Joe Biden, a Democrat who is the party’s presumptive candidate for the presidential election in November, has backed the aid package, but Trump, who has a more isolationist streak, has criticized the bill.

“He will not give a penny into the Ukraine-Russia war and therefore the war will end,” Orban said in the interview of Trump, who is on the verge of becoming the Republic Party’s candidate for the election.

“If the Americans do not give money and weapons, and also the Europeans, then this war will be over. And if the Americans do not give money, the Europeans are unable to finance this war on their own, and then the war will end,” he added.

Orban has stood out in the European Union for breaking with most of the bloc’s leaders by maintaining ties with autocratic leaders such as Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Orban traveled to the United States last week, where he spoke at the conservative Heritage Foundation and later met with Trump at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida, while forgoing any meetings with the White House during the trip.

Trump’s campaign said in a statement on the March 8 meeting that the two men discussed “a wide range of issues affecting Hungary and the United States, including the paramount importance of strong and secure borders to protect the sovereignty of each nation.”

The statement made no further comment on the discussions, nor did it mention Ukraine.

Orban said peace in Ukraine must be achieved first through a truce and then a complete peace agreement, which Trump “has the means” to do. He gave no further details.

Spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on March 11 that the Kremlin was aware of Orban’s statement, but it had no comment.

“We have seen it, but we have nothing to say, since no details are offered and it is unclear what kind of [what] plan this might be,” Peskov said.