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Austria opposes commencement of talks with Ukraine on EU accession

Austria opposes commencement of talks with Ukraine on EU accession Austrian Federal Chancellor Karl Nehammer (Getty Images)
Author: Liliana Oleniak

Austria has opposed the start of negotiations with Ukraine on accession to the European Union because "Kyiv should not receive privileges that Bosnia and Herzegovina does not have," according to the press service of the Austrian parliament.

Austrian Federal Chancellor Karl Nehammer said his country "will not agree to accession talks with Ukraine in the current circumstances."

According to him, "there should be no preferences for Ukraine compared to Bosnia and Herzegovina, which is also currently negotiating accession."

Nehammer believes that Ukraine and Moldova should be offered the prospect of joining the EU "as a sign of solidarity," but he opposed an accelerated procedure.

As the chancellor explains, Austria generally follows EU policy regarding solidarity with Ukraine, but without violating its neutrality.

Ukraine's accession to the EU

On November 8, the European Commission recommended to the EU Council to start accession negotiations with Ukraine. According to Ursula von der Leyen, Ukraine has already implemented 90% of the reforms expected by the EU.

However, Hungary said it would oppose the EU starting accession talks with Ukraine. Prime Minister Viktor Orban's party has submitted a resolution to the parliament against negotiations on Ukraine's accession to the EU.

The EU leaders' summit will take place on December 14-15. There, European leaders will decide on the prospects for the integration of Ukraine, Moldova, and Georgia. According to media reports, Hungary will block everything related to supporting Ukraine. Therefore, the summit may be delayed.

Read more about why Hungary is blocking Ukraine's accession to the European Union and what Orban wants in RBC-Ukraine's article.