Viktor Orbán arrives in Ukraine to meet Zelenskyy

  02 July 2024    Read: 811
 Viktor Orbán arrives in Ukraine to meet Zelenskyy

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán is on a surprise visit to Ukraine Tuesday, his first since Russia’s full-scale invasion began, his spokesperson confirmed.

Orbán, considered Russia's top EU ally after repeatedly obstructing efforts to support Kyiv, including holding up aid and Ukraine's bid to join the bloc, was one of the few European leaders who had not visited Ukraine since Russia invaded in February 2022.

“@PM_ViktorOrban arrived in Kyiv this morning to discuss European peace with President Volodymyr @ZelenskyyUA,” Orbán’s spokesperson Zoltan Kovacs said on X.

Their discussion “will focus on possibilities for achieving peace, as well as current issues in Hungarian-Ukrainian bilateral relations,” Kovacs added.

Orbán has taken issue with Ukraine over what Budapest says is its failure to guarantee the rights of its Hungarian minority. Kyiv and Brussels have engaged in intensive diplomacy with Budapest to address its concerns, with talks earlier this year between Andriy Yermak, the powerful head of the Ukrainian president’s office, and Hungarian Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó. Hungary has put forward a list of 11 conditions it is seeking to improve the legal protection of minorities before it will agree to allow Ukraine into the EU.

Orbán's trip to Ukraine came a day after Hungary assumed the rotating presidency of the Council of the EU on Monday.



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