Kyiv: Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban made his first visit to Ukraine since Russia's full-scale invasion and urged Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy to consider a "ceasefire" in order to "speed up peace talks" with Moscow, reported CNN.

Russian President Vladimir Putin's greatest European ally, Orban has criticised European support for Ukraine in the past.

While standing with the Ukrainian leader on Tuesday, Orban said, "I asked the president to think about whether we could reverse the order, and speed up peace talks, by making a ceasefire first."

He further stressed that a ceasefire connected to a deadline would give a chance to speed up peace talks.

"A ceasefire connected to a deadline would give a chance to speed up peace talks. I explored this possibility with the president and I am grateful for his honest answers and negotiation," he said, according to CNN.

The Hungarian leader has pushed the idea of ending the war with a ceasefire as opposed to military support for Ukraine numerous times since Russia's military flooded across the border in 2022.

Zelenskyy, along with many of Ukraine's closest allies, has previously dismissed any talks that would require Kyiv to sacrifice territory that has been taken by force, adding that Putin cannot be trusted to stand by any agreement.

The Hungarian leader further stated his desire to improve relations between Budapest and Kyiv, which have been strained by the Hungarian leader's close relationship with Putin, as reported by CNN.

"We would like to make the relationship between the two countries better," Orban said. "We would like to make a broad bilateral agreement with Ukraine, similar to the ones we already made with our neighbours (in the past). We would be happy to take part in the modernization of Ukraine's economy, we would like an ordered framework for this."

Moreover, Hungarian leader Orban has regularly attempted to block the European Union initiatives offering further military and financial support to Kyiv during the war.

Orban's close relationship with Putin has frequently come under scrutiny. Moreover, their friendship is underpinned by both economic cooperation and some shared values.

Earlier, Hungary also supported Russia at a United Nations level and rejected EU sanctions following Putin's aggression in Ukraine as early as 2014, after Russia illegally annexed Crimea, CNN reported.

The European Political Community (EPC), a forum for 47 European countries, inside and outside the EU, will also meet on July 18 in the United Kingdom to discuss the continent's strategic challenges.

Notably, Ukraine and Hungary are both members of the EPC.

It is expected that Ukraine will dominate that agenda and Zelenskyy may attend the meeting in person.

According to CNN, Orban may have had this in mind while planning his Ukraine visit, ensuring that his first meeting with Ukraine's president since the start of the war was not in such a public and high-stakes diplomatic setting.

This report is auto-generated from a syndicated feed