Victor Yushchenko has met with Katalin Szili, Speaker of Hungary’s National Assembly, according to the President’s press-office.

      They discussed bilateral relations, particularly in the context of Ukraine’s ambition to join the the European Union.

      “We understand that this path is challenging and we find it important to have partners on it,” he said.

      Ms. Szili assured him that her country would help Ukraine sign a 2007 associated membership agreement with the EU. Then they discussed ways to unify customs and tariff policies between the two countries and prospects of signing a free trade agreement.

      “We must carry out policies of the rapid transition to free trade,” he said. 

      Mr. Yushchenko and Ms. Szili also spoke about the Hungarian President’s forthcoming visit to Ukraine. They also agreed to reequip border stations and make sure the rights of national minorities, the Hungarian community in Ukraine and the Ukrainian diaspora in Hungary, are protected.