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Orban rails against Ukraine, says Kyiv is 'light years' away from EU membership

by The Kyiv Independent news desk November 18, 2023 11:30 PM 1 min read
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Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban said on Nov. 18 he believes that talks between the EU and Ukraine on its accession would be a mistake because Ukraine is "light years away" from being ready for membership, Magyar Hirlap, a Hungarian media outlet, reported.

At a Nov. 18 meeting of the Fidesz party, Orban focused part of his speech on the EU, railing against the "machinations of Brussels bureaucrats," the "invasion of migrants," "gender propaganda," "the illusions of war" and "Ukraine's ill-prepared membership in the EU."  

Hungary has threatened to block talks on Ukraine's accession and is blocking 500 million euros in aid to compensate EU states for the weapons they sent to Ukraine.

Despite being in the EU, Budapest, under Orban's government, has frequently aligned with Moscow on messaging about the full-scale invasion and aid for Kyiv. A key friction point was Ukraine placing Hungary's largest bank, OTP Bank, on the list of "war sponsors."  

While Ukraine bowed to Hungary's demands to take OTP Bank off that list in October, Budapest continued to veto the 500 million euro tranche, saying Ukraine has not provided guarantees that the situation with OTP Bank or any other Hungarian company will not happen again.

This Week in Ukraine Ep. 34 – What’s wrong with Hungary?
Episode #34 is dedicated to why Hungary’s pro-Russian government is blocking Ukraine’s European integration.
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