Hungary's PM responds to Transcarpathian Hungarians who urged him to support EU membership talks with Ukraine

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán has sent a letter in response to an appeal from Hungarian community organisations in Ukraine urging Orbán to support the opening of negotiations on Ukraine’s accession to the EU.

Source: Viktor Orbán’s spokesman, Bertalan Havasi, in a comment to Hungarian news agency MTI, as reported by European Pravda

Details: In the letter, Orbán stressed that his government “will do everything in its power to protect the rights of the Hungarian community in Ukraine”. He reiterated once again that the European Commission has failed to properly lay the foundation for Ukraine’s accession to the EU and that now is not the right time to start negotiations.

“That is why we will propose that the European Union should not aim for membership [for Ukraine], which is legally complex, but aim instead for a strategic partnership with Ukraine,” Orbán said.

“I can assure you that we will continue to work to ensure that the Hungarian community in Ukraine can live in a peaceful, stable and developing country,” he added.

Background:

  • On 11 December, leaders of Hungarian communities in Transcarpathia appealed to European Council President Charles Michel and Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán to support the start of negotiations on Ukraine’s accession to the EU.

  • The appeal was signed by Zoltan Babyak, head of the Berehovo City Territorial Community, Carlo Rezes, head of the Berehovo District Council, Laszlo Zubanych, head of the Democratic Union of Hungarians of Ukraine (DUHU), Yosyp Rezes, head of the Foundation for Ukrainian-Hungarian Regional Youth Development, and Judita Petei, a member of the Zakarpattia Oblast Council.

  • Orbán is deliberately blocking the adoption of decisions related to Ukraine during the forthcoming European Council meeting, ranging from the start of accession talks to the approval of €50 billion in financial assistance.

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