Hungary's Orban Urges EU to Halt Ukraine Membership Talks and Funding

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban has called on European Union leaders to refrain from making decisions on initiating negotiations for Ukraine's membership and withholding financial aid at next week's summit in Brussels. Orban's plea comes amidst the European Commission's proposal to consider Kyiv's readiness for negotiations, contingent on further obligations by March 2024.

In a letter addressed to European Council President Charles Michel, Orban emphasized the need to abstain from these discussions to prevent potential division within the EU, citing unity as a crucial asset. However, other member states are eager to deliberate Ukraine's membership prospects and financial support at the upcoming summit.

EU diplomats supporting Ukraine are concerned that the lack of consensus during the summit might detrimentally impact Kyiv, particularly amid the ongoing conflict. Orban's potential use of Hungary's veto on these matters could necessitate another EU summit early next year.

The current draft conclusions of the meeting propose opening accession negotiations with Ukraine and Moldova, granting EU candidate status to Georgia based on specific conditions, and indicating readiness to initiate accession negotiations with Bosnia once compliance with membership criteria is met.

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