Hungary's Orban Blasts EU Talks with Ukraine: Is Expansion Stalled?
Viktor Orban, the re-elected leader of Hungary's ruling FIDESZ party, delivered a bold statement during the party's congress in Budapest. Orban asserted that Ukraine's aspirations for European Union (EU) membership are far from realization, hinting that his government could impede Kyiv's path to joining the bloc.
Addressing delegates at the congress, Orban signaled his government's resistance to European leaders' formal invitation for Ukraine to initiate negotiations for EU membership. He emphasized that Hungary would oppose any such discussions, citing Ukraine's current distance from EU integration.
While the European Commission had recently recommended the commencement of formal talks with Ukraine for EU membership, Orban dismissed this suggestion as a false promise. He stressed Hungary's commitment to rectifying the situation, advocating against negotiations with a country engaged in conflict and highlighting potential shifts in fund allocations from Brussels to member states if Ukraine were to join the EU.
Critics of Orban speculate that Hungary may be leveraging these statements to release withheld EU funds, citing concerns about the Hungarian government's adherence to human rights and the rule of law.
Moreover, Orban threatened to block the EU's planned 50 billion euros aid package to Ukraine over a four-year period.
Orban also criticized Ukraine for alleged violations against ethnic Hungarians, particularly their right to learn their native language. He previously declared that Hungary wouldn't support Ukraine on international issues until the Hungarian minority's language rights were reinstated.
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