Mayor of Budapest visiting Kyiv

January 11. 2023. – 03:35 PM


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Gergely Karácsony, mayor of Budapest, Rafał Trzaskowski, mayor of Warsaw, Matúš Vallo, mayor of Bratislava and Zdeněk Hřib, mayor of Prague, travelled to Kyiv together on Wednesday to meet with Vitalij Kličko, mayor of Kyiv, according to a statement from the office of Karácsony.

Karácsony held a joint international press conference with the mayors of Kyiv, Bratislava, Prague and Warsaw. They all expressed solidarity with the Ukrainian people and the people of Kyiv who are suffering from Russian aggression.

“Budapest stands with Ukraine. The Hungarian government does not equal Hungary.”

- Karácsony said. The mayor said that the Hungarian government often acts in the interests of Putin, the aggressor. "Millions of Hungarians, including many in Budapest, are expressing their solidarity with the invaded Ukraine and refuse to confuse the aggressor with the victim," he said.

According to the mayor, while the Hungarian government keeps talking about the importance of peace, it fails to add the obvious: “Peace is only possible if the war efforts of the Ukrainian people succeed.”

The trip to Kyiv has been kept completely secret until now for security reasons, but the statement just issued reveals that the planned program will see the V4 mayors meet not only the mayor of Kyiv, but also senior Ukrainian officials, the mayor of Bucha and senior EU diplomats. "The purpose of the visit is to review how the V4 capitals can provide infrastructural and humanitarian assistance to the city of Kyiv, which is suffering from Russian aggression," the office of the Budapest mayor said in a statement.

Karácsony had already met with Kličko in Prague in September, when Kyiv joined the Alliance of Free Cities.

Last November, Hungarian President Katalin Novák also visited the Ukrainian capital. Novák was invited to Kyiv on account of the Grain from Ukraine project: at the time, on the anniversary of Holodomor, the 1932-1933 famine in Ukraine, Ukraine announced a programme to support grain exports to starving countries. "Where there is trouble, we will help," the President said during her visit.

Ahead of Novák, three Momentum MPs had already visited Ukraine in mid-November, becoming the first parliamentary delegation to visit the war-torn country since the outbreak of war in February last year. Over the past year or so, several presidents, prime ministers and other important senior politicians have visited Kyiv. Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán has not yet visited the capital of the war-torn country. When asked at his end-of-the-year press conference whether he planned to visit Kyiv, he said: "It is not on my agenda."

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