Skip to content
Edit post

Orban: 'No reason to negotiate (EU) membership of Ukraine now'

by Nate Ostiller December 14, 2023 1:46 PM 2 min read
Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban gestures as he talks to the media after arriving at the European headquarters for the EU-Western Balkans summit in Brussels on Dec. 14, 2023. (John Thys/AFP via Getty Images)
This audio is created with AI assistance

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban said there is "no reason to negotiate the (EU) membership of Ukraine now" at the EU summit on Dec. 14, where member states will vote to officially begin negotiations on Ukraine's accession to the bloc.

Ukraine has not fulfilled three of the seven conditional reforms obligated by the EU, Orban said, so any decisions would have to wait until the conditions are completed.

The European Commission recommended that Ukraine begin official talks on EU accession in early November, but it requires a unanimous vote from all EU members to move forward to negotiations. Hungary has repeatedly signaled it would not support such a step.

The EU is also set to decide on a 50 billion euro ($54 billion) funding package for Ukraine at the summit. In comments to reporters, Orban said that "short term...money for Ukraine is already in the budget. If you would like to have longer term and bigger money, you have to make it outside of the budget."

The comments were reported as a sign that Hungary plans to block Ukraine's accession talks, but may be open to supporting the funding. In the past, Hungary has publicly threatened to block aid for Ukraine or sanctions against Russia, but eventually reversed its position after extracting concessions.

Orban's Fidesz government is broadly seen as the most pro-Russian in the EU.

European Council President Charles Michel, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, and French President Emmanuel Macron were set to meet with Orban ahead of the summit in what appeared to be a last-ditch attempt to persuade Orban to change course.

Ukraine is both eagerly and nervously awaiting the results of the summit.

"I count on EU leaders recognizing Ukraine’s efforts and taking this historic step," said President Volodymyr Zelensky on Dec. 14.

Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said on Dec. 11 that a failure to approve the beginning of official negotiations on Ukraine's accession to the EU would have "devastating consequences" for the country.

EU unblocks 10 billion euros for Hungary, but Orban’s support for Ukraine still unclear
The EU Commission said that Hungary had fulfilled a specific set of judiciary reforms necessary to access the 10 billion euros in funding.

Support independent journalism in Ukraine. Join us in this fight.
Freedom can be costly. Both Ukraine and its journalists are paying a high price for their independence. Support independent journalism in its darkest hour. Support us for as little as $1, and it only takes a minute.
visa masterCard americanExpress

News Feed

11:03 PM

Ukraine, Spain start talks on security guarantees.

Ukraine and Spain began negotiations on a bilateral agreement on security guarantees under the Group of Seven (G7) Joint Declaration of Support for Ukraine, the Presidential Office reported on March 4.
8:51 PM

Zelensky replaces Support Forces commander.

President Volodymyr Zelensky dismissed Dmytro Hereha as the commander of Ukraine's Support Forces, replacing him with Oleksandr Yakovets, according to his decrees published on March 4.
Ukraine Daily
News from Ukraine in your inbox
Ukraine news
Please, enter correct email address
MORE NEWS

Editors' Picks

Enter your email to subscribe
Please, enter correct email address
Subscribe
* indicates required
* indicates required
Subscribe
* indicates required
* indicates required
Subscribe
* indicates required

Subscribe

* indicates required
Subscribe
* indicates required

Subscribe

* indicates required
Successfuly subscribed
Thank you for signing up for this newsletter. We’ve sent you a confirmation email.