He Ukrainian foreign minister warned leaders of the European Union that if they do not agree to start accession talks with kyiv at their summit this week they will have “devastating consequences”.
“I can not imagine”, said Dmytro Kuleba to the press in Brussels, “I don’t even want to talk about the devastating consequences that will occur if the Council does not take this decision.”
Kuleba was in Brussels to attend a meeting of EU foreign ministers ahead of the European leaders summit on Thursdayin which it must be decided whether to start formal accession talks with Ukraine and other candidate countries.
Ukraine’s hopes for formal negotiations have wide support in Europe, eager to demonstrate solidarity with kyiv amid the carnage unleashed by the Russian invasion, but Hungary has threatened to veto any decision this week.
“I hope that European unity is not broken, because now is not the time to weaken our support for Ukraine”declared the EU foreign policy chief, Josep Borrellbefore a meeting of the bloc’s foreign ministers.
The 27 EU leaders will meet on Thursday, but the Hungarian Prime Minister, Viktor OrbanRussia’s biggest friend in the bloc, threatens to block billions in aid and delay kyiv’s EU accession negotiations.
That’s why, the meeting between Orban and the Ukrainian president, Volodimir Zelensky, during the presidential inauguration of Javier Milei in Argentina it captured the attention of observers this Sunday. Both leaders were seen talking briefly, although what they said was not revealed.
The Finnish Minister of Foreign Affairs, Elina Valtonenrated the Hungarian position of “very, very deplorable”.
“It is crucial that we continue to help Ukraine as long as it is necessary, and not only for the cause of Ukraine, but also for our own cause,” declared.
European diplomats believe that Orban is paralyzing support for Ukraine to pressure Brussels to release billions of euros of EU aid to Budapest frozen by a dispute over the rule of law.
“This should not be a haggling game, but of course, in this situation, we need to find all possible channels that can help find a conclusion.”Valtonen said.
Latvian Foreign Minister Krisjanis Karins said that the Hungary’s stance was a “challenge”.
“In Europe we have faced many challenges, internal challenges in the past, and each time we have risen to the occasion and overcome them,” he said.
At this week’s summit, the EU plans reach agreements to grant Ukraine 50 billion euros more in financial aidincrease in 5,000 million euros the fund for weapons of kyiv and enter into talks for its accession to the bloc next year.
Zelensky: “Decision with significant impact on the morale of Ukrainian society and its Army”
Ukraine was granted the status of an EU candidate country in 2022. Last Saturday, the Ukrainian Parliament asked the EU to start negotiations to incorporate the country into the European bloc, according to a declaration adopted by a parliamentary majority before the summit.
Yesterday, in conversation from Argentina with his French counterpart, Emmanuel Macron, Zelensky reiterated to the European Union that it approve the beginning of talks for the incorporation of his country into the bloc.
“I have stressed (to Macron) the importance of the next European Council summit to open Ukraine entry talksa country that has complied with all the recommendations of the European Commission,” Zelensky said on his X social network account. “The decision adopted by the European Council will have a significant impact on the morale of Ukrainian society and its Army.“, said.
(With information from AFP and Europa Press)