Putin's favorite NATO member says the next 3 months of war will be 'far more brutal' after talks with Ukraine and Russia

  • Hungary's prime minister said the war's next two or three months will be "far more brutal."

  • Viktor Orbán cited the volume of weapons, troops on the battlefield, and commitment on both sides.

  • He said he is on a "peace mission" tour to create a cease-fire to speed up peace talks.

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán said the next two or three months on Ukraine's front lines before the US presidential elections will be "far more brutal" than they have ever been.

The Hungarian leader made the prediction in an interview Sunday with Axel Springer media outlets. Business Insider is owned by Axel Springer.

"The energy of the confrontation, the number of deaths, the lost lives, and the casualties will be more brutal than it was in the last seven months, even though the previous period was also very brutal," Orbán said.

Orbán mentioned the volume of weapons on the battlefield, Russian troops "consistently moving ahead" on the front lines, and the overall commitment on both sides.

"So, what is ahead of us is far worse than we think now," he said.

The Hungarian leader has paid visits to Ukraine and Russia, and is now in China as part of a peace mission, per an X post on Monday.

In the one-on-one interview, Orbán said the purpose of his meetings with world leaders was to create a "limited-time" cease-fire to speed up peace talks.

To achieve that goal, Orbán said he is trying to change what he described as the US "war policy" and the policy of Europe, which he said copies that of the US, so that world leaders can converge toward a "peace policy."

"If China, the United States, and Europe would like to have peace, it's far easier for the Ukrainians and the Russians to find a solution on how to stop fighting, how to save lives, how to negotiate, and find a durable solution," he said.

Orbán said that Putin and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, both of whom he spoke to, have a "clear vision" of how their respective countries will win the war. But the prospect of defeating Russia on the battlefield right now is "totally out of any calculation," he said.

Hungary will take on the EU Council's rotating presidency for the next six months, and Orbán said the European Union cannot afford the "luxury" of staying on the sidelines.

"My motivation is that if we would like to do something and change from war policy toward a peace policy, now is the right time to do so," he said.

Orbán's visit to Moscow last week was met with fierce criticism from other EU and European leaders, who said Orbán had no mandate to engage with Russia on the EU's behalf.

His administration has also repeatedly sought to restrain Western and NATO support for Ukraine since the start of Russia's full-scale invasion in February 2022, notably blocking billions in funds for months.

In May, Orbán told Hungarian state radio that his lawyers and officials were "hard" at work to alter its membership in the Western military alliance, so that it could avoid further aiding Ukraine in its fightback against Russia's invasion.

NATO members are set to meet in Washington, DC, on Tuesday to mark the 75th anniversary of the military alliance, while also tackling some of its current challenges.

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