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Hungary threatens obstacles in Ukraine's EU accession talks

Hungary threatens obstacles in Ukraine's EU accession talks Prime Minister of Hungary Viktor Orban (photo: Getty Images)

Hungary has threatened to impede Ukraine's progress in further negotiations regarding its accession to the European Union, according to the advisor to the Hungarian Prime Minister, Balázs Orbán.

"In the last few hours, the European Council in Brussels discussed the issue of Ukraine's accession. Hungary's position remains firm and unchanged: we do not consider Ukraine ready for negotiations with the EU. Accordingly, we are against the start of negotiations," said the advisor to the Hungarian Prime Minister.

According to him, after lengthy negotiations, Hungary decided to leave the meeting room and abstain from voting—not to obstruct the outcome but to avoid cooperation in making a decision that Budapest supposedly deems erroneous.

"The agreement of the European Council is a fundamental decision. Subsequently, member states must also unanimously agree on the specific framework for negotiations. Moreover, in the coming years, at least 70 unanimous decisions will be needed to approve Ukraine's accession to the EU," added Orbán.

What proceeded this

Today, on December 14, at the EU summit in Brussels, the European Council endorsed the start of accession negotiations for Ukraine and Moldova to the bloc, and granted candidate status to Georgia for EU membership.

During the adoption of this decision, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán left the room in disagreement. Later, he published a statement reiterating the position that Ukraine supposedly is not ready to start negotiations for accession. He also stated that Hungary "does not want to participate in this bad decision."

Hungary's position on Ukraine's accession to the EU

The European Commission recommended initiating such negotiations in its report, but Budapest actively criticizes this decision.

According to Orbán, his country is not against Ukraine's accession to the EU, but the question of opening negotiations should be postponed for six months.

Before the summit, Stefaniyshyna mentioned the continuation of bilateral discussions between Hungary and Ukraine regarding the latter's EU membership.

For more detailed information on what is happening at the EU summit, you can find out in the article by RBC-Ukraine.