Quiet media on the Ukraine the day after Christmas…..
Some in the Ukraine celebrated ON Dec. 25 , the Western day….
Not the Russian Orthodox date in January….
A look at the duality of Hungary (A NATO member with a Putin friendly leader ) and the Ukraine….
Ukraine ‘Peace’ talk…..
Tensions between Ukraine and Hungary, which share an 85-mile border, are hardly of the magnitude of Ukraine’s conflict with Russia, now in its 10th month of deadly, destructive war.
But Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban is yet another deeply problematic neighbor for Kyiv: maintaining warm ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin, repeatedly obstructing European Union sanctions against Moscow and insisting Ukraine should be pressured to negotiate a peace deal.
Though Hungary is part of NATO, Orban has refused to allow Western weapons to be transported through Hungarian territory. He is arguably the weakest link in the effort to preserve international support for Ukraine, giving him leverage in Kyiv, Brussels and Washington.
Andras Racz, an expert on Hungary and Russia at the German Council on Foreign Relations, said the reason was simple: Landlocked Hungary depends on cheap Russian oil and gas, which in turn allows Orban to keep energy prices low and win votes…
Hungary has given refuge to more than a million Ukrainian war refugees, and delivered hundreds of millions of dollars in humanitarian aid to Ukraine. But Orban, a proponent of “illiberal Christian democracy” and hero of far-right populists, cultivates his own brand of revanchist Hungarian nationalism, and has even raised suspicion that he might one day attempt to reclaim Hungarian lands in Ukraine.
Possible Ukraine/Russia ‘Peace’ talks in February ?
Ukraine’s foreign minister said Monday that his nation wants a summit to end the war but he doesn’t anticipate Russia taking part, a statement making it hard to foresee the devastating invasion ending soon.
Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba told The Associated Press that his government wants a “peace” summit within two months at the United Nations with Secretary-General António Guterres as mediator.
Kuleba said that Russia must face a war-crimes tribunal before his country directly talks with Moscow. He said, however, that other nations should feel free to engage with Russians, as happened before a grain agreement between Turkey and Russia.
The AP interview offered a glimpse at Ukraine’s vision of how the war with Russia could one day end, although any peace talks would be months away and highly contingent on complex international negotiations….
President Vladimir Putin claimed that Russia is ready for talks to end the war in Ukraine even as the country faced more attacks from Moscow — a clear sign that peace wasn’t imminent.
Putin said in a state television interview, excerpts of which were released on Sunday afternoon that Russia is “prepared to negotiate some acceptable outcomes with all the participants of this process.”
He said that “it’s not us who refuse talks, it’s them” — something the Kremlin has repeatedly stated in recent months as its 10-month old invasion kept losing momentum.
Putin also repeated that Moscow has “no other choice” and said he believed the Kremlin was “acting in the right direction.”
“We’re defending our national interests, the interests of our citizens, our people,” he said.
Putin’s remarks come as attacks on Ukraine continue….
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