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Szijjarto: Hungary delivers action plan to Ukraine on cooperation development


Hungary has delivered an action plan to Ukraine with proposals on developing economic cooperation and creating special economic zones on either side of the border, Peter Szijjarto, the foreign minister said in Washington, DC on Wednesday.

The proposals also involve building new border crossings and rail links, renovating a bridge across the River Tisza and strengthening energy cooperation, he said, commenting on an hour-long meeting with his Ukrainian counterpart the previous day on the sidelines of the NATO summit.

“It’s clear that if two neighbouring countries cooperate, energy security can also improve on a mutual basis,” Szijjarto said.

The minister also put forward proposals to enhance cooperation in education and humanitarian areas.

He said the action plan could set ties within a new framework of development, adding that his counterpart promised to examine the plan and respond with Ukraine’s own proposals.

Szijjarto said Kyiv had spoken positively of last week’s Hungary-Ukraine summit. The positions of the warring parties were “very far from each other”, he noted, and both sides saw the possibility of a ceasefire and peace negotiations differently.

“So much needs to be done to attain peace, but we must work on this,” he said, adding that there was “a very serious risk of escalation” in light of the “increasingly brutal” war developments from day to day.

He said there were “more and more weapons on both sides on the frontline”, and he referred to the recent “cruel” and “hearbreaking” attack on a children’s hospital.

Szijjarto said he and his Ukrainian counterpart were in agreement that the start of Ukraine’s EU accession negotiations opened “a kind of new chapter” in cooperation between the two countries, noting that Kyiv had vowed to restore the rights of the Hungarian national minority, adding that this was no longer a bilateral issue but had become formally a European one, too.

“We in Brussels must keep this issue to the fore and ensure that the rights of the national community are returned. In turn, this allows us to conclude a new bilateral compact on developing cooperation at a level that’s good for Ukraine and good for Hungary,” he said.



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