Viktor Orban in kyiv for bilateral meeting with Zelensky: this is his first visit to Ukraine

Since February 24, 2022, the day the Russian invasion of Ukrainian territories began, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban has never made an official visit to kyiv. He was one of the few European leaders to have avoided missions to Ukraine until today. Indeed, on the morning of July 2, Orban arrived in the Ukrainian capital. He did so the day after taking over the presidency of the European Council, which will be held in Budapest for the next six months. Orban's team confirmed the institutional trip: “He arrived in Kiev for talks with President Volodymyr Zelensky.” Relations between the two countries have always been complicated, given the Hungarian's political proximity to Moscow and his opposition to sending aid to Ukraine.

The issue of the Hungarian-speaking minority in Transcarpathia

It was Budapest's European partners who put pressure on Orban to improve relations with the Ukrainian leadership, which were at a low point after the outbreak of the conflict with Russia. At the end of April, Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto raised the possibility of organizing a bilateral meeting between his prime minister and the Ukrainian president. However, the necessary condition for facilitating the meeting was the restoration by kyiv of the rights of the Hungarian minority in the Transcarpathian region. According to some London newspapers, this prerequisite has been met. A source in Budapest reportedly told the English press that “in recent weeks, an agreement has been reached on the rights of the Hungarian-speaking Ukrainian minority.” The two leaders may announce the conclusion of the negotiations.

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