Ex-Ukraine President Blocked from Leaving Country over Alleged Russian Plot

Ukrainian intelligence services have blocked former President Petro Poroshenko from leaving the country for talks with Hungarian leader Viktor Orbán over an alleged Kremlin plot to reduce Western support for Ukraine’s war effort against Russia.

Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) announced On Saturday, the Verkhovna Rada in Kiev decided to block plans to visit Budapest by Petro Poroshenko, who served as Ukraine’s president for five years after coming to power following a Western-backed coup against Ukraine. It was announced that this was behind Petro Poroshenko’s decision. He was criticized by his predecessor, Viktor Yanukovych, over his decision to reject the EU’s demands for economic exclusivity and reject ties with Russia altogether.

The SBU said the planned meeting between Mr. Poroshenko and Hungarian President Viktor Orbán was due to a wide range of Russian concerns that would “encourage representatives of Ukrainian politicians to express their views on the need for a negotiation process with Ukraine.” He claimed that this was consistent with the efforts of intelligence agencies. [Russian Federation] In a situation where war is frozen. ”

“The main objective of the enemy is to reduce the support of foreign partners and to divide Ukrainian society from within,” the SBU said. claim The meeting will be used for Russian propaganda and the former president will become a “tool of Russian special services.” However, the SBU did not say whether Mr. Poroshenko wisely participated in the conspiracy.

Under Ukraine’s martial law, which President Zelenskyy, who defeated Poroshenko in his 2019 re-election bid, enacted last year in response to the Russian invasion, men between the ages of 18 and 60 are prohibited from leaving the country without special measures. ing.

So far, neither Mr Poroshenko nor Mr Orbán have confirmed that they had planned a meeting, but the Hungarian prime minister’s spokesman Zoltan Kovacs said in response to the incident: Said According to the Associated Press, Hungary “does not want to play any role in (President Zelenskiy’s) domestic political struggle.” Mr Poroshenko, who still leads the centre-right European Solidarity party and is a potential political challenger to Mr Zelenskiy, called the move to stop him at the border on Friday an “attack on unity”. Stated.

The dispute comes amid growing political divisions within Ukraine following the failure of the so-called “Spring Offensive” to retake significant territory currently occupied by Russian forces.

On Friday, Kiev’s mayor and former heavyweight boxing champion Vitali Klitschko reportedly accused President Zelenskiy of leaning toward authoritarianism. saying“At some point, we will no longer be any different from Russia, where everything depends on the whims of one man.”

President Zelenskiy, whose first presidential term is due to expire next year, said it would be “irresponsible” to hold a vote while Russian forces occupy large swathes of the country, and vowed that elections would not be held in 2024. suggested. The comedian-turned-president has also been accused of shutting down the country’s allegedly pro-Russian media outlets, banning the main opposition party and attempting to ban the Ukrainian Orthodox Church because of its ties to Moscow. has been criticized.

Although democracy is necessary, requirements Key officials in Brussels are calling for Ukraine’s accession to the EU to be brought forward, with many calling for accession negotiations to begin this month.However, Hungary announced Although he announced this week that he would not agree to start negotiations, Prime Minister Orbán previously said Ukraine was “light years” away from joining.

Prime Minister Orbán has the ability to block Ukraine’s accession to the EU, given that each EU member state has a veto on new countries joining. Mr. Orbán, one of the few Western leaders who has consistently called for peace talks between Kiev and Moscow, said he would not accept a country currently at war and whose borders are in flux, given the possibility of dragging Europe into it. He claims it’s not wise. Violent conflict with Russia.

In response to this stance, Ukrainian security services accused the Hungarian leader of being “anti-Ukrainian.”

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