might nonetheless block EU membership for Ukraine – Orban

25 might nonetheless block EU membership for Ukraine – Orban

The prime minister has mentioned he allowed accession talks to start, however will “pull the handbrake” if mandatory

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban has mentioned his authorities may have round 75 extra alternatives to dam Ukraine’s path to EU membership, and that permitting accession talks to start was a political gesture by Brussels.

EU leaders agreed on Thursday to open accession negotiations with Ukraine and Moldova, after Orban left a European Council summit to permit the remaining 26 member states to greenlight the choice. Earlier than stepping apart, Orban had been one of many loudest opponents of membership for Kiev, arguing that Ukraine’s endemic corruption, dependence on overseas help, and involvement in an energetic battle ought to rule out becoming a member of the bloc.

Chatting with Hungary’s Radio Kossuth on Friday, Orban mentioned his fellow leaders wished “to present Ukraine… the encouragement wanted to proceed the warfare, they usually requested that I don’t hinder them.”

Throughout eight hours of debates, the leaders tried to steer Orban by mentioning that nationwide parliaments in member states would have the ultimate say on Ukraine’s accession to the bloc, and that there could be round 75 events when the Hungarian parliament might vote Kiev’s membership bid down, the prime minister mentioned.

“They mentioned that if one thing harms Hungary’s pursuits through the negotiation, I can cease it,” he defined.

“Hungary doesn’t wish to take part on this unhealthy choice: so that you do it alone,” Orban recalled telling his colleagues, including: “that’s the reason I left the room.”

The choice to open accession negotiations with Ukraine got here lower than 18 months after Kiev utilized for membership. The velocity of this course of has been criticized by a number of member states, together with Austria, the place Overseas Minister Alexander Schallenberg warned final month that opening talks with Ukraine might alienate a number of Western Balkan states, which have been ready for his or her accession course of to start for as much as 20 years. 

Thursday’s vote was hailed by Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky as a “victory” for his nation, though European Council President Charles Michel described it solely as a “political sign.”

“This unhealthy choice doesn’t burden Hungary’s conscience, we are able to cease this course of later,” Orban advised Radio Kossuth. “If the pursuits of Hungarian farmers should be protected, then Hungary will apply the handbrake, there must be little doubt about that,” he added, referring to a simmering dispute between Kiev and its Jap European neighbors over low-cost Ukrainian grain imports undercutting native producers.

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