Irritated Orbán: 'EU Membership for Ukraine is a Bad Idea'

Written by Henrik Rothen

Dec.14 - 2023 11:02 PM CET

Photo: Wiki Commons
Photo: Wiki Commons
'EU Membership for Ukraine is a Bad Idea' Orbán states.

Trending Now

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán, in a Facebook video, stated that Hungary did not participate in the decision to grant EU membership to Ukraine. He wrote, "EU membership for Ukraine is a bad decision. Hungary will not participate in this bad decision!"

An EU source mentioned that "no one protested" the decision to start accession negotiations with Ukraine, implying that Orbán likely abstained from voting, leaving the decision to the other 26 EU countries.

Diplomats also reported that Germany's Chancellor, Olaf Scholz, suggested Orbán leave the room during the vote. If true, Orbán effectively refrained from vetoing the decision. Due to EU's unanimity rules, Orbán had the power to do so and had kept the EU and Ukraine in suspense for weeks with the threat of vetoing the accession negotiations.

Before entering the summit on Thursday morning, Orbán reiterated that Ukraine was not ready for accession negotiations.

He stated, "If the requirements are not met, then it is out of the question to start talks about membership." He believed Ukraine did not meet the criteria set by the EU Commission, saying, "Three out of the seven prerequisites set by the commission are not fulfilled."

At the summit, Orbán and the other 26 EU leaders were initially greeted by a serious speech from Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyj. Zelenskyj appealed to the EU leaders' historical responsibility and warned against serving Putin's interests: "The populations of Europe will not understand if Putin's satisfied smile becomes the reward for a meeting in Brussels," said Zelenskyj in his speech.

During the summit, Orbán likely faced significant pressure from the leaders of the other 26 EU countries not to obstruct the decision. This pressure appears to have been effective.

The next question is whether Orbán will also agree to a multi-year financing of Ukraine. The EU Commission has proposed giving Ukraine 50 billion euros over four years

Most Read