Hungary's Prime Minister Viktor Orban speaks to the media as he arrives for the European Council meeting in Brussels, Belgium, 26 October 2023. EPA-EFE/OLIVIER MATTHYS


Orban says Ukraine EU membership talks ‘should not start’ yet


Ukraine is “in no way ready” to join the EU, says Hungary’s PM Viktor Orbán.

Orban’s reluctance to see Ukraine quickly join the European Union contrasts with the view of European Council President Charles Michel, who says it could be a member as early as 2030.

“The clear Hungarian position is that negotiations should not start,” says Orban in a radio interview.

Ukraine is violating the rights of the Hungarian minority in the country, he claims.

Brussels is making decisions “so bad that we are all suffering the consequences”, including about Ukraine, the Prime Minister added.

The EU was created “to bring peace and prosperity”. However, “today, there is war in Europe” and “we are lagging behind in the race to join the great economic blocs of the world, China, Asia, and the US”, Orban states.

“So when we see the bureaucrats in Brussels in the media”, Orban says, “do not let any Hungarian think that they are the ones we put there and that they are serving our interests.”

Hungarians want “a well-planned green transition, not one that destroys their industries”.

They “don’t want migration, they don’t want war, and they don’t want unrest”, he says.

Orban believes the EU is captured by a globalist elites and by financial institutions, and the EU’s decisions are motivated by these groups’ interests.

This should change and Brussels should serve the interests of the people, he says.

On X, the former Twitter, German MEP Daniel Freund, a member of Alliance 90/The Greens, calls Orban’s statements “disgusting”.

Orban’s opposition to Ukraine’s ambitions currently extends to preventing the EU from giving Ukraine €50 billion in aid.

Any financial assistance to Ukraine should be separate from the EU budget, says Zoltan Kovacs, a spokesman for the Hungarian government.

Brussels is said to be working on a means to circumvent the Hungarian veto.

The EU is reportedly preparing to ask each member state to draw up its own aid package with Kyiv, giving a comparable total amount of money.