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Macron, Scholz and Michel meet with Orban before EU summit

Macron, Scholz and Michel meet with Orban before EU summit Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban (facebook com orbanviktor)
Author: Maria Kholina

The President of the European Council, Charles Michel, French leader Emmanuel Macron, and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz will meet with Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban ahead of the EU leaders' summit. Orban says he will not budge on the issue of Ukraine, according to Politico and The Guardian.

According to Politico, on the evening of December 13, Michel, Macron, Scholz, and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen held a meeting to "discuss a common line" before the summit.

On the morning of December 14, before the EU summit, Michel, Macron, and Scholz will have a working breakfast with Orban. The leaders will reportedly try to persuade the Hungarian prime minister on decisions he is blocking, particularly regarding Ukraine.

Upon arriving at the EU summit, Orban stated that Hungary will not budge on Ukraine's EU membership.

"Enlargement is not a theoretical issue. Enlargement is a merit-based, legally-detailed process, which has preconditions … there is no reason to negotiate membership of Ukraine now. Even not to negotiate," Orban said.

He also commented on Hungary's stance regarding approving funding for Ukraine.

"The money for Ukraine, in short term, is already in the budget. If we would like to give longer term and bigger money, we have to manage outside the budget, and we support it," said the Hungarian Prime Minister.

Summit postponed

The Polish media outlet PolskieRadio24 reports that the start of the EU leaders' summit has been postponed. According to media reports, negotiations between Orban and the heads of the Euro Council, Macron, and Scholz are ongoing. European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen is also present at the talks.

"This is the last chance to convince the head of the Hungarian government to change his mind," the PolskieRadio24 writes.

EU leaders summit

The EU leaders' summit will take place on December 14-15, where several issues related to Ukraine will be discussed. This includes the start of negotiations on EU accession, providing 50 billion euros in economic support, allocating an additional 20 billion euros for the Ukrainian army, and a new package of sanctions against Russia on the agenda.

Read more about whether Brussels will provide Ukraine with 50 billion euros and when accession negotiations will begin in the RBC-Ukraine's article.