The Ukrainian foreign ministry will summon Hungary’s ambassador to complain about “completely unacceptable” remarks Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban made about Ukraine, Kyiv said on Friday.

The announcement marks a new low in ties between the two neighbours. Hungary has repeatedly criticised European Union sanctions on Russia, saying they failed to weaken Moscow meaningfully, while they risk destroying the European economy.

Ukrainian foreign ministry spokesman Oleg Nikolenko, writing on Facebook, said Orban had told reporters that Ukraine was a no man’s land and compared it to Afghanistan.

“Such statements are completely unacceptable. Budapest is continuing a deliberate course aimed at destroying Hungarian-Ukrainian relations,” he said.

“The Hungarian ambassador will be summoned to the Ukrainian foreign ministry for a frank discussion. We reserve the right to take other measures in response.”

Orban earlier said on Friday that Hungary would veto any EU sanctions against Russia affecting nuclear energy. Hungary has a Russian-built nuclear plant it plans to expand.