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The country of Hungary declares its opposition to discussions about Ukraine joining the European Union.
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The country of Hungary declares its opposition to discussions about Ukraine joining the European Union.

On Thursday, a government official stated that Hungary will not endorse any European Union suggestion to initiate conversations about granting membership to Ukraine.

According to Gergely Gulyas, the chief of staff for Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban, it is too early to start official negotiations with Kyiv regarding their potential membership in the EU. He stated at a press conference in Budapest that Hungary will not give their approval for initiating discussions at the upcoming meeting of EU leaders in December.

According to Gulyas, the proposal is extremely premature and Hungary cannot support a joint decision to invite Ukraine to start the process of joining the bloc.

In the beginning of this month, the European Union’s governing body advised that Ukraine should be permitted to begin discussions about becoming a member. This is contingent upon Ukraine taking steps to handle problems with governance, such as corruption, lobbying issues, and limitations that could hinder minorities from being able to learn and read in their own languages.

However, in order for a new country to be admitted, all EU member nations must agree unanimously, giving Orban, who is a nationalist, a strong veto power.

For a while now, his administration has adopted a confrontational stance towards Ukraine, strongly opposing EU penalties on Russia for their invasion and delaying financial support for Kyiv.

Orban, widely considered one of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s closest allies in Europe, has argued that accession negotiations should not begin with a country that is at war, and that Ukraine’s membership would reorient the system the 27-nation European Union uses to distribute funds to member countries.

Earlier this month, Orban stated that Ukraine is far from being able to join the bloc. This further suggests that his government will pose a significant challenge to Kyiv’s aspirations at the upcoming meeting of EU leaders in Brussels.

Gulyas announced on Thursday that Hungary does not back the suggested changes to the EU budget, which includes a provision of 50 billion euros ($54.5 billion) in extended assistance to Kyiv.

He accused the EU of unlawfully withholding funds from Hungary and stated that the government would therefore not back any budget changes.

The European Union suspended the disbursement of billions of funds to Budapest due to accusations of the Orban administration’s failure to comply with EU regulations on rule-of-law and corruption.

Hungary maintains that it is not connecting the suspended EU funds to any other matters, however, Brussels officials view its threats of veto concerning aid and Ukraine’s membership as a form of coercion to pressure the bloc into releasing the withheld funds.