President Katalin Novák held talks with Sergio Mattarella, her Italian counterpart, in Rome on Tuesday where they discussed the war in Ukraine and other important issues.
“We agreed that by starting the war, Vladimir Putin has crossed the Rubicon. Our common goal is to stop the war as soon as possible and have peace,” the president said on Facebook. “The 150,000 Hungarians living in Transcarpathia provide 150,000 reasons for restoring peace as soon as possible,” said President Novák. As regards Ukraine’s minority law, the Italian president said that Ukraine would need to settle the issue of minorities if it strives to become a member of the European Union. The two presidents also discussed energy issues. Italy is in a more favourable situation in that regard, said Novák, adding that Hungary would also make every possible effort towards fully reducing its energy dependence on Russia. Concerning the Western Balkans, they highlighted the importance of the region’s EU integration by speeding up the accession process. President Novák and Mattarella discussed measures to support young people starting a family and welcomed the strengthening of bilateral economic relations. The Italian president stated his support for persecuted Christians and pledged to launch a programme modelled on the Hungary Helps aid scheme. President Novák paid a visit to Rome at Mattarella’s invitation. She is scheduled to meet Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni on Wednesday.