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Hungary, Ukraine foreign ministers to meet in western Ukraine in late January

In World
January 12, 2024

BUDAPEST – The foreign ministers of Hungary and Ukraine will meet in western Ukraine at the end of January, the Hungarian government said on Friday.

It did not disclose further information about the planned meeting and a Hungarian government spokesperson did not immediately respond to emailed questions for comment.

Relations between NATO-member Hungary and Ukraine have been strained by issues such as the rights of ethnic Hungarians in western Ukraine and Hungary’s opposition to providing European Union aid to Ukraine from the EU budget amid Russia’s invasion.

Last month all EU states except Hungary agreed to start accession talks with Ukraine. The bloc’s leaders bypassed nationalist Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s opposition by getting him to leave the room when the decision was made.

“It has been confirmed that the Hungarian and Ukrainian foreign ministers are slated to meet in Uzhorod (Ungvár) on Jan 29,” Orban’s international communications office said on social media platform X, formerly known as Twitter.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said he had a “frank” conversation with Orban on the sidelines of the inauguration of Argentine President Javier Milei last month.

Zelenskiy’s chief of staff said late last month that Ukraine and Hungary were preparing a meeting between Zelenskiy and Orban in the near future.

On Thursday, Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto said a high-level summit between the two leaders would only make sense if it could produce “significant results”, according to a statement issued by his ministry. REUTERS

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