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Orban arrives in Kiev to discuss ways toward resolving Ukraine conflict

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Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban arrived in Kiev on Tuesday morning for talks with Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky, Orban’s press chief Bertalan Havasi announced.

“The opportunity for achieving peace will be the main topic of the meeting,” Hungarian news agency MTI quoted Havasi as saying. According to him, Orban and Zelensky “will also discuss current issues facing bilateral relations between Hungary and Ukraine.”

It is Orban’s first visit to Kiev since hostilities broke out in Ukraine. Unlike other EU leaders, the Hungarian premier has opposed sending weapons to the Ukrainian army as he favors resolving the conflict peacefully.

Orban and Zelensky talked briefly during the EU summit in Brussels late last week. Earlier, he Ukrainian leader invited the Hungarian prime minister to visit Kiev. They have held several short meetings on the sidelines of international events in the past two and a half years, but never had substantial talks.

In a phone conversation on May 8, Zelensky invited Orban to the Swiss conference on Ukraine, but the invitation was rejected. At the forum held at the Burgenstock resort on June 15-16, Hungary was represented by Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto.

Earlier, the Hungarian government has repeatedly said that the time is not yet ripe for Orban’s visit to Kiev or a full-fledged meeting with Zelensky. Hungary insisted on the inclusion of its 11 demands regarding minorities in the framework agreement for negotiations on Ukraine’s EU accession.

Source: Itar Tass

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