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Ukraine’s EU accession: Orban claims ‘conditions have not been met’

“Nam.” Hungary once again said “no” to Ukraine’s membership in the European Union. The EU is “not in a position” to begin accession talks with Kiev, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban said on Thursday morning upon his arrival at a crucial European summit for Ukraine in Brussels.

“There is no point in discussing anything,” “expansion is a legally detailed and objective process. We have set seven conditions and, by the Commission’s own assessment, three of the seven are not being met,” said the fairly pro-Russian nationalist leader, who also opposes Ukraine’s €50 billion budgetary support in the form of grants and loans over three years. These two decisions require the unanimity of member states.

“The discussions we will have tomorrow will be decisive,” Emmanuel Macron said on Wednesday from Paris, recalling his position in favor of accession negotiations accompanied by reforms to the functioning of the EU that will enable this new enlargement. The French president will bear particular responsibility: last week he invited Orban to dinner at the Elysee Palace.

Kyiv received EU candidate status in June 2022, a few months after Russia went to war. The European Commission, the EU’s executive arm, last month recommended that EU leaders agree to start accession talks with Ukraine now as the war with Russia approaches two years and fighting still rages. A second decision will still be needed – perhaps in March – to agree on the framework of this process. Accession negotiations often take many years as the candidate country must implement reforms to meet EU standards on a wide range of issues, including the economy, the rule of law or corruption.

An added complication: Austria and Croatia want leaders to also agree to back Bosnia’s bid for EU membership if Ukraine gets the green light.

Since the invasion of Russia, Kyiv has mobilized to quickly join the European Union and NATO, which it sees as a bulwark against Vladimir Putin’s ambitions to recreate the old Russia.

Source: Le Parisien

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