Hungary still opposed to opening accession negotiations with Ukraine

Hungary said on Monday it would not bow to pressure from other European Union member states to give the green light to accession talks with Ukraine, ahead of the upcoming EU summit. will hold this week.

Ukraine’s foreign minister says it would be “devastating” for his country and the EU if the Dec. 14-15 summit does not authorize accession talks and grant Kyiv financial aid and more important military force to defend against the Russian invasion.

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban, who prides himself on his links with Russian President Vladimir Putin, has however threatened to veto negotiations on aid and enlargement.

Other member states, including Germany, have declared themselves in favor of opening negotiations with Kyiv on the long process of joining the bloc, but Budapest remains firm in its positions.

“A majority of European politicians want to make such important decisions even though they are completely unprepared and lack a strategic agreement on the future of Europe,” wrote the Hungarian Foreign Minister, Peter Szijjártó, on Facebook before a meeting with his EU counterparts in Brussels in preparation for the summit.

“We will not give in to any pressure, whatever the origin and the perpetrators, and whatever the type of blackmail or promise.”

Securing new financial aid from Europe is key for Kyiv, and doubts are also growing about future U.S. support as President Volodimir Zelensky heads for talks in Washington.

All these decisions, as well as another on a potential twelfth set of EU sanctions against Russia since the invasion of Moscow in February 2022, require the unanimous support of the 27 countries of the Union.

As the EU once again seeks to win Viktor Orban’s support for Ukraine, the European Commission is expected to unlock Budapest’s access to 10 billion euros this week.

Diplomats said attempts by Georgia and Bosnia to advance their EU membership hopes – backed by Viktor Orban – would collapse if Hungary vetoed negotiations with Ukraine, but some also said compromise was still possible.

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