NewsZelensky and Orban meet in Argentina

Zelensky and Orban meet in Argentina

Volodymyr Zelensky spoke with Viktor Orban.
Volodymyr Zelensky spoke with Viktor Orban.
Images source: © Senate of Argentina
ed. MCZ

4:18 AM EST, December 11, 2023

Ukraine's president, Volodymyr Zelensky, held a brief conversation with Hungary's prime minister, Viktor Orban. The meeting occurred on Sunday, at the presidential inauguration ceremony for Javier Milei in Argentina, as reported by Ukrainian media. Notably, Hungary has been opposing Ukraine's integration with the European Union.

The conversation was captured by Argentina's Senate cameras and posted on the YouTube platform. Zelensky can be seen listening attentively to Orban before elaborating something to him. Regrettably, the content of the politicians' dialogue remained inaudible in the recording.

'Informal Talks'

Zelensky's office made no official comment regarding the meeting with Orban. References to the Ukrainian president's visit to Argentina only alluded to ‘informal talks with heads of states and governments of other countries’.

Hungary has been against initiating negotiations pertaining to Ukraine's admission to the European Union. The nation is also resistant to changes in the EU budget aimed at augmenting financial aid for Kyiv. Reflecting this stance, Hungary's ruling Fidesz party proposed a parliament resolution to counter such negotiation procedures on Wednesday.

Orban previously wrote two letters to Charles Michel, the European Council's president, requesting a ‘strategic discussion’ about the EU's policy towards Russia and Ukraine's ongoing armed conflict. Orban, in one of the letters, expressed his belief that the expectation for a decision regarding Ukraine's EU accession at a European Council meeting is unfounded.

Ukraine Strives for EU Membership Despite Hungary's Opposition

Ukraine lodged an official application for European Union membership in February 2022, which led to its attainment of candidate country status by the European Council in June. The decision on initiating accession negotiations is expected to be made during a mid-December summit in Brussels, and it requires a unanimous agreement.

A conflict has persisted between Hungary and Ukraine since autumn 2017, following Ukraine's establishment of a new education law. Hungary argues that the law infringes upon the rights of the Hungarian minority in Zakarpattia, Ukraine, by limiting their right to study in their native language.

The conflict over this issue has caused Hungary to block top-level NATO-Ukraine Commission meetings for several years. However, Ukraine has recently indicated its willingness to discuss potential amendments to the laws concerning national minorities.

On Friday, the Kyiv parliament ratified a new law addressing national minorities, which adheres to the Council of Europe's specifications.

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