Orbán's visit to Kyiv is being planned

February 23. 2023. – 10:27 AM


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"Péter Szijjártó: If Hungarians get their rights back, convening a ministerial level Ukrainian-NATO committee may be possible" is the title of an interview with the Hungarian Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade published by Index, but those who read the article carefully will catch one of the most interesting sentences three-quarters of the way through the interview.

The journalist asks why Prime Minister Viktor Orbán has not visited Kyiv so far, "since the leaders of the vast majority of European states have already held talks in the Ukrainian capital, and most recently the US president went there for a visit as well". Péter Szijjártó replied as follows:

“When the visit will be timely, the Hungarian Prime Minister will go to Kyiv. The Foreign Ministry is currently working on the preparations of this trip.”

It's the second half of this sentence that is news, namely that Orbán's visit to Kyiv is being planned, and that the trip is already being prepared.

Since the outbreak of the Russian-Ukrainian war on 24 February 2022, the highest-ranking Hungarian official to visit Kyiv was President Katalin Novák. She travelled to Ukraine's capital on a scheduled train in November and visited Transcarpathia afterwards.

She said that “Vladimir Putin's responsibility for this war is crystal clear. From the very beginning, we Hungarians have stood up against unnecessary bloodshed, pain and suffering.”

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has sent a clear message to the Hungarian government several times over the past year. Since the outbreak of the war, Orbán has been fond of sending messages to Zelensky as well – mostly through his own government media; he even used his 2022 election victory speech to snap at the president of Ukraine, which is under Russian military occupation.

The two politicians met in Brussels on 9 February, when Zelensky personally invited Orbán to Kyiv. When asked to confirm the news, Bertalan Havasi, the prime minister's press chief did so, adding that " the prime minister will visit Kyiv when it is necessary and timely".

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