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Argentina. President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky and Prime Minister of Hungary Viktor Orban – a short conversation between the leaders

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President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky held a short conversation with Prime Minister of Hungary Viktor Orban. It took place during the swearing-in of Javier Milei as the new president of Argentina, media in Kiev reported. According to UNIAN, the conversation was not previously planned.

The Ukraińska Pravda website reported that the conversation between Zelensky and Orban was shown on the Senate channel Argentina on Youtube. The president is seen in the recording Ukrainewho listens to the Prime Minister speaking Hungarianand then explains something to him. The voices of politicians are not heard in the film.

Zelensky’s office did not comment on reports of his brief meeting with Orban. The statement from the visit to Argentina only informed about “informal talks with the heads of state and government of other countries.” The photos shared on the website of the Ukrainian president’s office show the head of the Hungarian government and the Ukrainian leader standing near the wall, exchanging sentences.

Zelensky and Orban during the swearing-in of the President of Argentina president.gov.ua

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“This conversation was probably not planned in advance (…) Zelensky and Orban were among the official guests next to each other in the room where the celebrations were held,” the Ukrainian UNIAN agency commented on this event.

“The conversation looks emotional, but it is not known what its topic is and what the Hungarian Prime Minister says in response to the President of Ukraine,” reported the Ukrainian section of Radio Svoboda.

Draft resolution

Hungary is against the start of negotiations on Ukraine’s accession to the European Union and changes in the EU budget in order to provide further financial assistance to Kiev. On Wednesday, the government in Hungary Fidesz submitted a motion for a resolution in parliament against the start of such negotiations.

Zelensky and Orban during the swearing-in of the President of Argentina president.gov.ua

Earlier, Orban sent two letters to the President of the European Council, Charles Michel, in which he demanded a “strategic discussion” on the EU’s current policy towards Russia’s war against Ukraine. In one of the letters, he also stated that expectations that a decision on starting negotiations on Ukraine’s accession to the EU might be made at the meeting of the European Council are unjustified.

Candidate country status

Ukraine applied for EU membership in February 2022, and last June the European Council granted Ukraine candidate country status. The decision to start accession negotiations is to be made at the summit in Brussels in mid-December. It must be adopted unanimously.

The Hungarian-Ukrainian dispute has been going on since at least autumn 2017, when the Ukrainian parliament adopted a new education law. Budapest claims that it affects the rights of the Hungarian minority in Ukrainian Transcarpathia because it limits the right to education in their native language.

Due to the dispute, Hungary has blocked meetings of the NATO-Ukraine Commission at the highest level for years. Recently, however, the Ukrainian side has expressed its readiness to talk about possible changes in the regulations regarding national minorities.

On Friday, the parliament in Kiev adopted a new law on national minorities, which took into account the requirements of the Council of Europe.

Support from the Global South

Volodymyr Zelensky on Sunday, he took part in the swearing-in ceremony of Javier Milei as the new president of Argentina. The stay in this country is the Ukrainian leader’s first visit to South America since Russia launched its armed invasion against Ukraine in February 2022.

During his stay in Buenos Aires, Zelensky met, among others, with the presidents of Ecuador, Paraguay and Uruguay. According to Reuters, Zelensky’s visit to South America is aimed at receiving support from the countries of the Global South.

Zelensky hopes to convene a “global peace summit” and is promoting a peace plan based on the withdrawal of Russian troops from Ukraine and the recognition of its 1991 borders, Reuters reported.

PAP, UNIAN, Radio Swoboda, Reuters

Main photo source: president.gov.ua



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