Cyprus Mail

Ukraine and Hungary prepare for Zelenskiy, Orban meeting amid tensions

president elect milei's swearing in ceremony, in buenos aires
FILE PHOTO: Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban speaks with Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelenskiy at the swearing-in ceremony of Argentina's President-elect Javier Milei at the National Congress, in Buenos Aires, Argentina December 10, 2023

Ukraine and Hungary are preparing a meeting of President Volodymyr Zelenskiy and Prime Minister Viktor Orban in the near future, the Ukrainian president’s chief of staff said on Thursday, amid recent steps by Hungary that have soured ties.

Earlier this month, all European Union states except Hungary agreed to start accession talks with Ukraine. The bloc’s leaders bypassed Orban’s opposition by getting him to leave the room when the decision was made.

But leaders could not overcome Orban’s resistance to revamping the EU budget to channel 50 billion euros to Kyiv and are expected to revisit the issue at an emergency summit on Feb 1. Orban wants funding for Kyiv to come from outside the EU budget.

Chief of Staff Andriy Yermak made his remarks following a “productive phone call” with Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto.

“We are working to organize a meeting between the two leaders in the near future,” Yermak said on the X social media platform.

He added Ukraine’s progress on the path of European integration was also discussed.

Zelenskiy earlier said countries need to organise a constructive meeting to discuss problems in their relations. Orban later confirmed he had accepted an invitation to meet.

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