Ukrainian FM to take part in NATO meeting despite Hungary’s opposition, in a first since 2017
Ukrainian Minister for Foreign Affairs Dmytro Kuleba. Photo via EPA

A high-level meeting of Ukrainian and NATO officials is scheduled to take place in Brussels on Monday and Tuesday for the first time since 2017, when Hungary started to oppose the rapprochement between Kyiv and the Alliance on the go

The NATO-Ukraine Commission is to meet on April 4 and 5, with Ukraine’s foreign minister Dmytro Kuleba participating, spokesperson for the Ukrainian ministry foreign affairs Oleg Nikolenko confirmed.

"This will be the first meeting of the Commission at the level of foreign ministers with the participation of Ukraine since 2017. The head of Ukrainian diplomacy will hold important talks in the context of preparations for the NATO Summit in Vilnius in July," Mr Nikolenko said in a statement.

He added that Mr Kuleba would "discuss in detail" steps to strengthen Ukraine's defence capabilities, including new arms supplies and ammunition production, increased sanctions pressure on Russia, the establishment of a special tribunal for the crime of aggression against Ukraine, and humanitarian aid.

For many years, Hungary has been blocking meetings of the NATO-Ukraine Commission, expressing its dissatisfaction with the education and language laws adopted in Ukraine which Budapest claims allegedly violate the rights of Ukraine’s Hungarian national minority.

Hungary has long been wary of any active support of Ukraine, claiming that it wants to "stay out of war" with Russia it allegedly is being drawn into.

Hungarian prime minister Viktor Orban said last week that Europe was considering sending "peacekeeping forces" to Ukraine, an argument meant to beef up Budapest’s claims of the West risking direct confrontation with Russia.