BUDAPEST, June 21 (Xinhua) -- Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelensky called Hungary's Prime Minister Viktor Orban on the phone on Tuesday to discuss Kyiv's bid to join the European Union (EU).
According to the Hungarian leader's press chief Bertalan Havasi, Orban confirmed his country's support for Ukraine's EU candidate status.
Orban reportedly said that the EU should remove the bureaucratic obstacles to Ukraine's EU accession as soon as possible and that he intends to represent this position at the upcoming EU summit on June 23-24.
Orban told Zelensky that Hungary has already welcomed close to 800,000 Ukrainian refugees and that his government is ready for continued cooperation in further energy projects, Havas said.
Hungary is also ready to help Ukraine export its grain via rail, Orban said.
On behalf of the people of Ukraine, Zelensky thanked the Hungarian people for their help.
The phone conversation was seen by observers as a sign of easing tensions between the two leaders. Previously, Zelensky criticized Orban for his apparent lack of support for the embattled country. ■