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Viktor Orban: Ukraine is Not Ready for Negotiations on Accession to the EU

Ukraine “in all respects” is not ready to begin negotiations on its membership in the European Union, says Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban. He shared this opinion in an interview on Radio Kossuth, speaking about the political difficulties facing Hungary.

“Ukraine in all respects is not ready to talk about its aspirations to join the EU. Ukraine is as far from EU membership as Mako is from Jerusalem ,” HVG quoted the prime minister as saying. According to Orbán, Hungary’s “clear position” is that negotiations on Ukraine’s accession to the EU should not even begin.

At the same time, he noted that the European Union “owes Hungary 3-4-5 billion euros,” the transfer of which the EU  suspended due to claims against Budapest regarding reforms of the judicial system and the fight against corruption. Orban stressed that this issue can in no way be connected with Hungary’s position on Ukraine’s accession to the EU.

“I would like to very clearly emphasize that Hungary’s disagreement with the start of negotiations on Ukraine’s membership in the EU is not a subject of bargaining. This should not be associated with any money issues. What we owe must be given,” he said .

Ukraine applied for membership in the European Union immediately after the start of the full-scale invasion of Russian troops. In June 2022, the summit of EU leaders agreed on the status of EU candidates for Ukraine and Moldova.

On November 8, the European Commission recommended that the Council of the European Union begin negotiations with Ukraine and Moldova on accession to the EU, subject to a number of conditions. As a result, all 27 members of the European Union must unanimously support the admission of a new country to the bloc.

The day before the official announcement by the European Commission, representatives of Hungary announced that they would block the start of negotiations with Ukraine on accession to the European Union until the demands concerning the Hungarian minority in Ukraine were met. In September, Viktor Orban said that Hungary does not have an “overwhelming desire” to vote for Ukraine to join the EU.

Source : Meduza