Zelenskyy Talks to Orban Ahead of EU Summit

Zelenskyy Talks to Orban Ahead of EU Summit

On the sidelines of his visit to Argentina, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky met Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban. Among other things, it was about Ukraine’s desire to join the EU. Orban had made it clear to Zelenskyy that the EU members were “continuously negotiating with each other” regarding Ukraine’s accession, said his spokesman Bertalan Havasi.

Zelensky, in turn, said in his nightly video address that he had spoken to Orban as “openly as possible” about Ukraine’s European affairs. There was talk of an “emotional conversation” in the Ukrainian media. A camera filmed the conversation between the two – the gestures suggest an apparently controversial exchange.

The EU summit on December 14th and 15th will decide whether accession talks will begin with Ukraine.

Meanwhile, Kyiv warned the European Union that its meeting on Thursday and Friday would fail. It would have devastating consequences if Hungary prevailed with its blockade stance, said Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba before consultations with his EU colleagues in Brussels.

EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell also expressed concern: “I hope that Europe’s unity does not collapse,” said the Spaniard. “This is not the time to weaken our support for Ukraine.” Rather, the EU must increase this, he said, with a view to Ukraine’s difficult military situation.

Orban had recently threatened to block the early start of admission talks. Among other things, he criticizes the fact that Ukraine is not yet meeting all the reform requirements. However, some diplomats believe it is conceivable that Orban’s threats are intended to increase pressure to obtain frozen EU funding.

Zelenskyy travelled to Argentina to attend the inauguration of new President Javier Milei. The Ukrainian president also met with several South American counterparts to explore the possibility of a Ukraine-Latin America summit. Zelenskyy is campaigning for support from the so-called Global South.

Many countries have so far found it difficult to support the hard line taken by Western industrial nations towards Russia.

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