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Will Orban block EU accession talks with Ukraine: Analyst's opinion

Will Orban block EU accession talks with Ukraine: Analyst's opinion The Prime Minister of Hungary, Viktor Orban (Photo: Getty Images)

Hungary is doing everything possible to undermine the European Union's efforts to strengthen its role in establishing stability in international relations. However, there is hope that the country's authorities will realize that blocking negotiations on Ukraine's EU accession is detrimental, including to themselves, as stated in the material by RBC-Ukraine, "Hungary's obstruction of Ukraine EU accession and Orban's objectives: Analysis."

This is not the first time Hungary has blocked European decisions regarding Ukraine. Usually, agreements are eventually reached within the EU, finding ways to persuade Hungary.

However, according to the First Deputy Director of the New Europe Center, Serhii Solodkyi, Hungary's current policy is aimed at disrupting the joint efforts of most EU countries.

"This policy is extremely harmful to the EU. Of course, it also harms Ukraine, but above all, it harms the EU itself, which is now trying to strengthen its role in establishing stability in international relations. Hungary is doing everything possible to undermine these efforts of the European Union," noted the analyst.

As the December EU summit approached, options were being explored in case Viktor Orban could not be persuaded, and he blocked the start of negotiations with Ukraine.

Earlier, Politico wrote that Brussels has a "nuclear option" on the table - to exclude Hungary from EU political decisions. Theoretically, Brussels could invoke a special procedure used when an EU member state is deemed to be at risk of violating the bloc's core values.

This extreme measure is considered highly toxic in Brussels as it would undermine the unity that has been challenging to build within the European Union. Moreover, it could fuel negative attitudes of the Hungarian people towards the EU, dealing another blow to the bloc's unity.

However, it is likely that the EU will not have to resort to the "nuclear option" or, worse, refuse to start negotiations with Ukraine. According to Solodkyi, in the past, the EU has had the legal savvy and ingenuity to reach a consensus.

According to him, this sets an optimistic tone that the EU will find an optimal solution that satisfies all parties. In addition, the expert believes blocking is not beneficial even to Hungary.

"What will Hungary achieve by blocking? First, it discredits the entire EU. Secondly, if Hungary blocks the negotiations, Ukraine may not implement any changes regarding the national minorities that Budapest demands. In other words, Hungary will only make things worse. Therefore, let's hope that Budapest will realize that their decision will harm not only their allies and Ukraine but also themselves," explained Solodkyi.

Negotiations on Ukraine's accession to the EU

A few weeks ago, the European Commission released a report recommending the start of negotiations on Ukraine's accession to the European Union.

For them to begin, the unanimous decision of all EU countries is needed. Leaders of member states will discuss this issue at the summit, which will take place on December 14-15.

At the same time, Hungary has openly stated that it opposes negotiations on Ukraine's accession to the EU.

According to media reports, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban is trying to persuade the President of the European Council, Charles Michel, not to raise the issue of negotiations at the EU leaders' summit on December 14-15.