Andriy Yermak, the head of the Office of the President of Ukraine, recently held talks with Hungarian Foreign Minister, Péter Szijjártó. Yermak informed Szijjártó about the Ukrainian parliament's plan to pass 'several important laws.' However, Yermak didn't provide any further details about these laws. The leaders also discussed the potential for a meeting between Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.
Open to Dialogue, But with Conditions
Foreign Minister Szijjártó indicated Hungary's willingness to negotiate between the two leaders. However, Szijjártó stressed that such a meeting should result in positive outcomes, which requires thorough preparation. Hungary's dissatisfaction with the treatment of Hungarians in Ukraine's Zakarpattia region has been a point of contention. Hungary has previously stated that it would not support Ukraine's movement towards the European Union until the issues concerning the Hungarian minority are resolved.
EU Accession at Stake
The European Commission had recommended in November that formal EU membership negotiations with Ukraine and Moldova should begin. This move was described as a response to the call of history by its president Ursula von der Leyen. However, Orbán has threatened to block this decision at a summit of EU leaders. His opposition to Ukraine's EU accession is creating tension within the EU. This blockage could potentially derail the EU summit, which is scheduled to discuss major decisions regarding Ukraine's future.
Resolving Minority Issues
Hungary's criticism revolves around Ukraine's national minority issue, particularly the impact of the Ukrainian education law on the Hungarian minority in Zakarpattia. Both countries are currently trying to resolve this issue through negotiations. Hungary's ruling party Fidesz has opposed the prospective opening of EU accession talks with Ukraine and has submitted a resolution to the National Assembly. The resolution calls for the European Commission's proposal to be better prepared and urges the government of PM Viktor Orban to represent this view at the upcoming EUCO summit.