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Politico: Macron invites Orban to Paris to 'strike compromise' on EU support to Ukraine

by Elsa Court December 5, 2023 5:40 PM 2 min read
Hungary's Prime Minister Viktor Orban gives his speech in Hungexpo Fair and Exhibition Centre of Budapest on Nov. 18, 2023. (Attila Kisbenedek/AFP via Getty Images)
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French President Emmanuel Macron has invited Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban to meet in Paris for talks this week, following Orban's threats he will block EU support to Ukraine and Ukraine's accession to the bloc, Politico reported on Dec. 5.

Citing an unnamed official, Politico said that Macron hopes to strike a compromise with Orban, who has said that EU leaders should review their entire strategy of support to Ukraine.

European Council President Charles Michel will also cut his trip to China short amid the growing diplomatic crisis, Politico said.

He will leave China ahead of schedule "partly because he does not have a secure phone line in Beijing to speak to EU leaders without China listening in," the unnamed official told the news outlet.  

Politico obtained a letter from Orban dated Dec. 4, in which Orban urges Michel to remove Ukraine's accession negotiations from the agenda.

“I respectfully urge you not to invite the European Council to decide on these matters in December as the obvious lack of consensus would inevitably lead to failure,” Orban reportedly wrote.

According to a previous letter seen by Politico journalists at the end of November, Orban said that there must be a "strategic discussion" on the EU's policy on Ukraine when EU leaders gather in Brussels on Dec. 13-15.  

"The European Council should take stock of the implementation and effectiveness of our current policies towards Ukraine including various assistance programs," the letter reads.

Since the start of Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine, Hungary has repeatedly obstructed EU funds for Kyiv while opposing sanctions against Russia.

Orban, who maintains close ties with Russia, has refused to provide military aid to Ukraine and claimed that Kyiv's counteroffensive was destined to fail.

Both Ukraine and Moldova received recommendations from the European Commission on Nov. 8 to begin formal negotiations on their accession to the European Union.

A formal decision from the European Council is expected during the mid-December meeting in Brussels.

Charles Michel: ‘I don’t think this counteroffensive has failed’
Ten years after Ukrainians took to the streets their dissatisfaction with what many saw as a nail into the coffin of the country’s European future, the European Council president was in Kyiv promising that Ukraine would soon begin accession talks. “My goal is to do everything to make a positive
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