Upon meeting Zoran Milanović, her Croatian counterpart, in Budapest on Friday, President Katalin Novák said Croatia and Hungary, two countries in central Europe, could help the European Union become stronger.
According to MTI, talks earlier in the day focused on the war in Ukraine, the fight against illegal migration, European integration of the Western Balkans, efforts to promote infrastructure and energy cooperation, the demographic crisis, and issues around ethnic minorities. President Novák said Hungary welcomed Croatia’s accession to the Schengen zone and its recent introduction of the euro, and highlighted the importance of bilateral trade ties and tourism. She said in 2022 over 600,000 Hungarian tourists had visited Croatia, adding that bilateral trade were growing fast, with Croatia being Hungary’s third largest foreign trading partner and Hungary being Croatia’s fourth. Novák noted that it was Milanović’s first official visit to Hungary, adding that “the Croatian president’s courageous stance could help a lot to clear the vision of European leaders”.
At their talks, Novák and Milanović condemned Russia’s aggression against Ukraine and voiced support for Ukraine’s sovereignty and independence, and for endeavours to achieve peace. Novák thanked her guest for Croatia’s support for Hungarians living in the country. Concerning energy cooperation, she said Hungary was relying on Croatia’s key role in diversifying energy supplies to Hungary.