Based on the diplomatic sources of the Hungarian TV channel ATV, the Hungarian President, Katalin Novák, arrived in Kyiv early morning by train. She travelled to Ukraine after accepting the invitation of Ukrainian President Volodimir Zelenskiy. Before noon, neither of the two politicians has posted a word yet on their social media sites about the arrival of the Hungarian head of state in the war-torn country’s capital. At 12 pm Novák posted a photo with President Zelensky but it seems her followers do not agree with her visit.
Hungarian diplomatic sources told ATV that this morning, President Katalin Novák arrived in Ukraine’s capital, Kyiv. As we wrote yesterday, the commander-in-chief of the Hungarian Armed Forces departed for Poland by plane and continued her journey to Kyiv by train. That is probably because the organisers were afraid a Ukrainian air defence missile might hit the presidential plane.
Two weeks before, one of the missiles lost course and hit a Polish granary, where two workers died. Since the Russians try to destroy Ukraine’s civilian infrastructure by keeping its facilities under constant missile attack, the Ukrainian air defence has been under alert for weeks. Thus, they probably fire on everything that moves in their airspace.
Nothing has been made public about the presidential visit’s schedule to Ukraine, but all media outlets agreed she would meet with President Zelenskiy.
Reuters wrote about the Hungarian President that she was “a close ally of nationalist Prime Minister Viktor Orbán and was elected as president, a mostly ceremonial post, by the governing Fidesz party majority in parliament in March.” However, Reuters forgot to mention that Novák already travelled more than her predecessor, János Áder, and has been very active in diplomacy.
It seems that the Hungarian President tries to create good relationships with Western countries critical towards the Hungarian government, like the USA. Meanwhile, foreign minister Péter Szijjártó does the same in the case of Eastern countries. For example, he is the only foreign minister of the EU member states who sits down for an official talk with Russian foreign minister Sergey Lavrov. Novák’s visit to Ukraine fits into that pattern.
Furthermore, Hungary announced on Wednesday that it would pay its share of the EU’s financial support package for Ukraine. That sum is more than 187 million euros, while Hungary struggles with skyrocketing inflation and an increasing energy crisis caused mainly by the state’s lack of euros. That is partly why Budapest needs the EU’s RRF and development funds locked because of the European Commission’s corruption concerns.
The press office of the presidential Sándor Palace said yesterday that they would share all relevant information about Novák’s visit in time. ATV presumes that is because of security and safety reasons. Her present stay is the most high-profile visit of a Hungarian official to Ukraine since the start of the Russian invasion.
President Novák shared a photo on her Facebook page in which she stands next to President Zelensky. She wrote that she arrived in Kyiv accepting the invitation of the Ukrainian head of state. “We help where there is trouble”, she added. However, most of her followers do not agree with her visit. One of them says Hungary should not give money to Ukraine. Another argues this is the first time she does not concur with what the President does. A comment writer is also disappointed. He writes that the Ukrainian leadership humiliates the Hungarians living in Ukraine.
Source: atv.hu, Reuters, DNH