Hungary offers to host Russia-Ukraine talks
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Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto said that he had spoken by telephone to his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov and to Andriy Yermak, an aide to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.
Budapest, the Hungarian capital, "can serve as a secure location for both the Russian and Ukrainian negotiating delegations," Szijjarto said in a video posted on his official Facebook page.
"Neither rejected (the proposal), both were grateful, and are considering it," he said.
"I sincerely hope that within hours or days there will be an agreement about the start of talks," he added.
Hungary, a member of the European Union and of NATO, has cultivated a close relationship with Russian President Vladimir Putin under its nationalist Prime Minister Viktor Orban.
But the United States swiftly dismissed the offer.
"Now we see Moscow suggesting diplomacy take place at the barrel of a gun. This is not real diplomacy," State Department spokesman Ned Price said.