Analysis by Tetiana Zosymenko and Sándor Seremet
The context for Ukrainian–Hungarian cooperation is framed by two contrasting tracks regarding the geopolitical location of the two countries: European integration and the Russian connection. Ukraine’s ultimate choice of European integration marked the start of a new stage of economic relations with Hungary. This has manifested in two contrasting tracks that have defined the dynamics andcontent of their trade and economic cooperation since 2014.
On the one hand, Hungary has always been supportive of Ukraine’s European integration ambitions; on the other hand, Budapest has had to balance its dependence on Russia in the energy sector, which is of strategic importance to Hungary. Ukraine should address these circumstances in a constructive and pragmatic manner to maximize the mutual benefits of economic cooperation with Hungary in areas of common interest. The Belarus–Ukraine collaboration, with their commitment to increasing trade notwithstanding their different geopolitical aspirations, is a good example in this regard.