Hungarian Prime Minister Orban says Ukraine is “light years” away from joining the European Union

BUDAPEST (AFP) – Ukraine is “light years away” from joining the European Union, Hungary’s prime minister said Saturday, a sign that his government is likely to put an obstacle on the way to joining the EU. Kyiv’s ambitions to join the bloc.

Speaking at the semi-annual congress of his nationalist party Fidesz, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán said he and his government would “resist.” The talks are scheduled to take place in mid-December On whether Ukraine will be formally invited to begin membership negotiations.

Admission of a new state requires unanimous approval from all existing member states Urban Strong veto power.

At the party congress in Budapest on Saturday, he was re-elected Fidesz leader for the 11th consecutive time since 2003. Orban said afterwards that standing in the way of Ukraine’s EU accession would be one of his government’s top priorities in the coming months. .

Orban said: “Our mission will be to correct the false promise to start negotiations with Ukraine, because Ukraine is now light years away from the European Union.”

The EU’s executive committee recommended earlier this month the start of accession talks with Ukraine, saying the government in Kiev had “demonstrated a remarkable level of institutional strength, determination and ability to act.”

But Orbán, One of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s only allies in the European UnionShe has argued that negotiations should not begin with a country at war, and that Ukraine’s membership would reorient the 27-nation EU system of distributing funds to member countries.

Some critics have speculated that Hungary is using its resistance to take advantage of concessions related to billions in funding that Brussels received from Budapest. Because of concerns that the government It failed to respect the rule of law and human rights standards.

Orban also threatened to block an EU plan to provide 50 billion euros (about $53 million) over four years. Aid package for Ukraine,

He criticized Ukraine for what he says is a violation of the rights of ethnic Hungarians in western Ukraine to study in their own language. In September, I He told the Hungarian Parliament His government “will not support Ukraine on any international issue” until the minority’s linguistic rights are restored.

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