Hungary's Orban to meet Zelenskiy on trip to Ukraine, FT reports

FILE PHOTO: EU leaders gather in Brussels for European Council meeting

(Reuters) - Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban will make his first trip to Kyiv on Tuesday since Russia's invasion of its smaller neighbour in 2022, to meet with Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskiy, the Financial Times reported on Monday.

The visit by Orban, an outspoken critic of Western military aid to Ukraine, is to take place a day after Hungary assumed the rotating presidency of the European Union Council.

Orban and Zelenskiy's offices did not immediately respond to Reuters' requests to comment.

Citing people familiar with the matter, the Financial Times reported that Orban will meet with Zelenskiy and other senior officials in Kyiv just days after the two spoke at an EU summit in Brussels.

Orban, the closest ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin among EU leaders, has frequently opposed many EU initiatives to support Ukraine in its defence against Moscow's aggression since its February 2022 invasion.

Last year, Orban told Putin that Hungary had never wanted to oppose Russia. In early 2024 it took the EU leaders weeks to break the Hungarian prime minister's veto to extend 50 billion euros ($54 billion) in new aid to Ukraine.

Last week, the EU opened membership talks with Ukraine, giving the country a political boost in the midst of its war against Russia's invasion, although a long and tough road still lies ahead before it could join the bloc.

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(Reporting by Surbhi Misra in Bengaluru and Lidia Kelly in Melbourne; Editing by Leslie Adler))