Ukrainian-Hungarian economic cooperation commission to meet

After a seven-year hiatus, the Joint Intergovernmental Ukrainian-Hungarian Commission on Economic Cooperation will today meet in Kyiv as the two

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Photo: REUTERS/Bernadett Szabo

After a seven-year hiatus, the Joint Intergovernmental Ukrainian-Hungarian Commission on Economic Cooperation will today meet in Kyiv as the two countries forge closer economic ties.

Ukrainian Minister of Foreign Affairs Dmytro Kuleba and his Hungarian counterpart Peter Szijjarto will chair the meeting that was originally scheduled for March but delayed due to COVID-19. Initial areas of discussion will include joint border development projects, credit lines for infrastructure projects and the coordination of pandemic response efforts.

Relations have been strained in recent years after Ukraine introduced a controversial language law criticised for targeting ethnic Hungarians within its borders. Hungary has subsequently blocked NATO initiatives designed to cultivate closer ties with Ukraine. However, recent events—such as the passage of several bilateral agreements last month, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky’s recent visit invitation to Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban and public pledges of cooperation from Hungary’s Foreign Ministry—indicate a sincere desire to achieve diplomatic progress.

As Hungary has been highly effective in blocking Ukraine’s NATO membership and attempts at reconciliation have failed over the last three years, President Zelensky will likely be more receptive to proposals of economic integration. Expect statements of cooperation on joint short-term and medium-term goals from today’s meeting.

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