Kiev, December 19 (MTI) – What Hungary needs is a “stable, economically strong Ukraine” for a neighbouring country, Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto said on Friday, after talks with Pavlo Klimkin, his Ukrainian counterpart, in Kiev.
Hungary will contribute 100,000 euros to a NATO fund set up to strengthen Ukraine’s cyber-defence capabilities, Szijjarto said. Hungary will also contribute an equal amount to OSCE’s Ukraine mission, he added.
The Hungarian government has decided to provide export financing through Eximbank to revitalise bilateral trade and economic cooperation with Ukraine, Szijjarto said. He added that Eximbank is ready to also finance Ukrainian state projects involving Hungarian contractors.
Ukraine can only become a stable and strong country if its territorial integrity and sovereignty are respected. All participants in the armed conflict under way in the eastern part of the country should respect the Minsk agreement, he said.
“Additionally, Ukraine should carry out with no delay its structural reforms that will enable the country to strengthen politically and economically,” he added.
It is in the interest of Hungary, as a neighbouring country to Ukraine, that the crisis should be settled as soon as possible, through negotiations, Szijjarto said.
Hungary is ready to help Ukraine and share its experiences in implementing successful structural reforms, he added.
“We will make experts available to the Ukrainian government for the reform of state administration, decentralisation and legal harmonisation with the European Union,” he said.
Szijjarto said he was in agreement with his Ukraine counterpart that border crossing procedures between Hungary and Ukraine need to be speeded up and preparations made for joint border control.
Klimkin said that a new border crossing is planned to be built by Ukraine in the near future.
Szijjarto said that Hungary supports the acceleration of visa talks between the EU and Ukraine and concrete results could be achieved before the eastern partnership summit in Riga next May.
He confirmed to MTI that preparations were being made for Prime Minister Viktor Orban to visit Kiev by next spring.
Klimkin expressed hope that the Visegrad 4 group could be expanded to include Ukraine and thanked Hungary for its willingness to help Ukraine fulfil the requirements contained in the EU accession agreement.
The two foreign ministers signed a consultation schedule for their respective ministries in 2015-2016 and Szijjarto signed a protocol with Education Minister Serhiy Kvit about bilateral cooperation in education and science.
This latter is especially important because it places emphasis on minority education. Hungary also confirmed its offer of 100 scholarship positions to Ukrainian students at Hungarian universities, Szijjarto said.
Szijjarto also met parliamentary speaker Volodymyr Hroisman and discussed ways to develop closer ties between the two countries and especially their parliaments.
Photo: MTI/Ministry of Foreign Affairs