On the eve of the European Council meeting, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán discussed Ukraine, Putin, and the rise of European nationalism with Le Point, offering a special message for the French.
Highlighting Ukraine’s corruption challenges, the Prime Minister firmly asserted its lack of readiness for EU accession talks due to inadequate preparation by Member States. Despite recognizing these obstacles, he underscored Hungary’s commitment to standing by Ukraine amid the ongoing Russian invasion, urging positive signals from the European Council.
While expressing solidarity, he
firmly opposed immediate EU membership negotiations for Ukraine.
Instead, he advocated for a strategic partnership with a focus on agricultural, security, and strategic concerns. Additionally, he pressed for the recognition of the rights of the Hungarian minority in Ukraine.
The Prime Minister criticized EU sanctions against Russia, deeming them a mistake with potential consequences for Ukraine’s military, financial, and political stability.
Despite acknowledging the cultural differences between Russian and European civilizations, he advocated for cooperation with Moscow and other nations globally.
In a significant political development, Viktor Orbán, also serving as the chairman of governing party Fidesz, confirmed ongoing talks about joining the European Conservatives and Reformists (ECR) party family. This coalition includes influential parties such as Italy’s Fratelli d’Italia and Poland’s Law and Justice (PiS), along with the Sweden Democrats, supporters of the Swedish governing coalition.
He delivered a cautionary message to the French, emphasizing that
Ukraine’s EU membership would necessitate an additional EUR 3.5 billion
annually from member states.
During his first interview with a French newspaper since 2015, Prime Minister Orbán sought President Macron’s support for prioritizing a strategic partnership over immediate accession talks at the upcoming EU summit. However, Le Point reported that he was unable to convince President Macron.