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Zelensky says Hungary's Orban cannot be mediator in Ukraine war

KYIV, July 9 ------ President Volodymyr Zelensky said Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban could not mediate between Russia and Ukraine to end the 28-month war, a task he said could only be undertaken by world powers such as China, the U.S. or EU.


Orban visited Kyiv and Moscow for talks last week and met Chinese President Xi Jinping on Monday, describing his unexpected trip to Beijing as the third-leg of a "peace mission". As world leaders prepare to head to a NATO summit which starts on Tuesday in Washington, Ukraine's Zelensky said only powerful economies or countries with armed forces much stronger than Russia's could manage the task of mediation. "Are there many such countries around the world? Not many. I believe the U.S., and China are such countries. And the EU, not one country, but the whole EU. This could really be an intermediary mission," Zelensky told a news conference during a visit to neighboring Poland. Zelensky said Orban's negotiations with Putin, which provoked a rebuke within the European Union, had not been coordinated with Kyiv. "Even if (Putin) meets with a particular state, this does not mean he wants to end the war," he said.


Kyiv remains open to proposals from other countries on how to shape the path to peace, but they should align with the Ukrainian vision, in particular a 10-point peace plan, Zelensky added. Ukraine hopes to hold a second international summit to consider its proposals for peace later this year. China, which has close ties to Moscow, did not attend the first meeting in June. It has been promoting a six-point peace plan it issued with Brazil in May, proposing an international peace conference "at a proper time" and calling for equal participation by both Ukraine and Russia.




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