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EU aims to start Ukraine accession talks in June, but there is obstacle

EU aims to start Ukraine accession talks in June, but there is obstacle EU wants to start accession talks with Ukraine in June, but there is an obstacle (Getty Images)
Author: Maria Kholina

The European Union (EU) aims to start negotiations on Ukraine's accession to the bloc as early as June. Hungary is under pressure to drop its opposition to Kyiv's application, citing Politico.

Currently, EU and Ukrainian diplomats are working intensively behind the scenes to secure Hungary's agreement to begin the accession talks. According to European diplomats familiar with the issue, the goal is to initiate formal negotiations by June 25.

“According to diplomats, both Brussels and Kyiv are engaging in intensive bilateral diplomacy with Budapest to address concerns about Hungarian minorities in Ukraine,” Politico writes.

After the April talks between Andrii Yermak, the head of the Presidential Office, and Péter Szijjártó, Hungary’s Foreign Minister, the parties noted the positive dynamic of the dialogue, according to a Ukrainian press release.

Meanwhile, one EU diplomat believes that Budapest likely wishes to get the matter of Ukrainian accession talks out of the way before it begins its six-month presidency of the EU Council in July.

“Ukraine and its backers in the EU have been calling for the intergovernmental conference between Brussels and Kyiv to be held before Hungary takes over the rotating Presidency of the Council of the EU on July 1,” Politico adds.

Ukraine’s EU accession

In June 2022, the European Council granted Ukraine candidate status for EU membership during a summit in Brussels. At that time, Kyiv was tasked with implementing a series of significant reforms related to the rule of law, oligarchs, and anti-corruption measures.

By November 2023, the European Commission recommended that the EU Council begin the process of negotiating Ukraine’s and Moldova’s integration into the bloc. The decision was made in December. According to Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal, Kyiv hopes to start the dialogue by July.