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Ukraine's EU accessions: Is Hungarian presidency threat?

Ukraine's EU accessions: Is Hungarian presidency threat? Olha Stefanishyna (Vitalii Nosach, RBC-Ukraine)
Author: Maria Kholina

If EU countries approve the start of negotiations on Ukraine's accession in June, then only technical issues will be addressed during Hungary's presidency of the EU Council, according to Deputy Prime Minister for European and Euro-Atlantic Integration of Ukraine, Olha Stefanishyna.

"If a decision is made in June (official approval of the negotiation framework - ed.), then within the framework of the Hungarian presidency we can focus on other issues," she said.

According to her, the start of official negotiations initiates dozens of technical procedures. This includes legislation screening and preparation for opening negotiation chapters, which takes at least six months. Therefore, the Hungarian presidency will only be responsible for the final enlargement report at the end of the year.

"And I think we will focus on pulling other enlargement countries. At least, that's the vision the Hungarian side has," Stefanishyna said.

To meet deadline by July 1

Hungary will assume the presidency of the EU Council from July 1, replacing Belgium. The government of Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban takes a pro-Russian stance and has repeatedly blocked European initiatives regarding Ukraine.

Earlier, European Parliament member Viola von Cramon-Taubadel said in an interview with RBC-Ukraine that negotiations on Ukraine's accession to the European Union should start before the European Parliament elections in June.

At the same time, the European Parliament member noted that the future presidency of Hungary in the EU Council starting from July 1st "may not lean" towards starting negotiations.

"So what we need to achieve is either before the European election, which would be ideal, or before the 1st of July," she said.

As Deputy Prime Minister Olha Stefanishyna said, Ukraine has an agreement with the EU that accession negotiations will start in June this year.