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Hungary’s Orbán rejects talks on Ukraine’s EU bid

Hungary’s Orbán rejects talks on Ukraine’s EU bid

by host

Hungary’s Prime Minister Viktor Orbán looks set to derail a decision on opening talks on Ukraine’s accession to the European Union, which is set to take place at a European Council later this month.

“It is clear that the proposal of the @EU_Commission on Ukraine’s EU accession is unfounded and poorly prepared,” Orbán said late Sunday on X, formerly Twitter.

“There is no place for it on the agenda of the December #EUCO!” the Hungarian prime minister added.

Orbán has adamantly opposed the opening of accession negotiations for Ukraine, after the European Commission gave the green light to start membership talks in November.

The Commission assessed that war-torn Ukraine, which is still fighting off Russia’s full-scale invasion, had made enough progress to warrant the opening of negotiations.

The next step is for EU leaders to approve a plan to begin talks from the EU’s executive body during a summit in Brussels on December 14 and 15 — unless Orbán gets his way.

In a letter sent to European Council President Charles Michel in November, Orbán demanded a review of the EU’s policy on Ukraine, and threatened to use Hungary’s veto power to block the disbursement of a planned €50 billion in aid for Ukraine, disrupting the bloc’s steadfast support to Kyiv.

The move led Michel to make a last-minute visit to Budapest in an attempt to ease tensions with the Hungarian leader and rescue December’s summit.

Orbán’s opposition comes as Budapest is embroiled in a long-standing dispute with Brussels, which is holding back €13 billion in EU funds over concerns that Budapest is in breach of European rule-of-law standards.

In his statement on X, the Hungarian prime minister argued that discussions on Ukraine’s EU membership “does not coincide with the interests of many states, certainly not with Hungary’s,” and called on the Commission to “take [their plan] back, prepare it properly, and come back when an agreement has been reached.”

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