Friday, July 19, 2024

Hungarian PM Orbán makes first visit to Kyiv since Russia-Ukraine war

Hungarian government spokesman Zoltán Kovács disclosed this on Tuesday in his post on the social media platform X.

• July 2, 2024
Orbán and Zelensky
Orbán and Zelensky [Credit: France24]

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán has travelled to Ukraine for the first time since Russia launched the war in February 2022 to discuss European peace with President Volodymyr Zelensky.

Hungarian government spokesman Zoltán Kovács disclosed this on Tuesday in his post on the social media platform X.

According to media reports, relations between Kyiv and Budapest are considered tense, but Hungary has just taken over the rotating six-month presidency of the European Union Council.

In an interview shortly before his trip to Kyiv, Mr Orbán had announced that he wanted to take steps toward peace.

In the past, Mr Orbán has delayed aid for Ukraine and has repeatedly tried to prevent sanctions from being opposed by the invading power Russia.

Hungary is still heavily dependent on Russian gas supplies, some flowing through Ukraine despite the war.

However, Kyiv did not want to extend the contract, which would expire at the end of the year.

Another point of contention was the rights of the Hungarian minority in Ukraine, and Orbán has portrayed himself as their protector for years.

At a football match in late 2022, the 61-year-old also provoked people by wearing a scarf with the outline of Greater Hungary from 1920.

Transcarpathia, now part of Ukraine, belonged to Hungary at that time.

The last time Mr Orbán was in Ukraine was in 2012 when Viktor Yanukovych fled to Russia. 

(dpa/NAN) 

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