Viktor Orbán doubles down on opposition to EU accession talks with Ukraine – Europe live | Europe #Viktor #Orbán #doubles #opposition #accession #talks #Ukraine #Europe #live #Europe

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Gift for a ‘merry’ summit: MEP sends Council chief photo album of Orbán with autocrats

Daniel Freund, a German Green member of the European parliament and vocal critic of the Hungarian government, has sent a symbolic gift to the European Council president, Charles Michel, before this week’s key summit: a photo album of Hungarian government meetings with prominent autocrats around the world.

The album includes images of the Hungarian prime minister, Viktor Orbán, and his controversial foreign minister, Péter Szijjártó, spending time with senior politicians from Russia and other authoritarian states.

Freund also made a Christmas-themed video of the gift, titled “Special Moments of the Upcoming Hungarian Council Presidency” – a reference to Hungary holding the rotating presidency of the council in the second half of next year.

The MEP Daniel Freund made an album of Hungarian leaders meeting with autocrats.

Orbán doubles down on opposition to EU accession talks with Kyiv

One day before a key European leaders’ summit begins in Brussels, the Hungarian prime minister, Viktor Orbán, reiterated his position that Hungary would block opening accession negotiations with Ukraine.

“The European Union is getting ready to make a terrible mistake, and they have to be prevented in this – even if 26 want to do this, and only we are opposed,” he said.

Speaking in a podcast interview with Mandiner, a pro-government Hungarian publication, published this morning, the prime minister said:

The Hungarian position is that if we want to give Ukraine support, a geopolitical signal, then let’s give – but that’s not membership. Let’s leave membership as what it is.

The Hungarian leader argued that opening Ukraine’s path to accession would undermine the bloc’s credibility, adding:

That’s why I say, take down membership from the agenda, Hungary will insist on that, so that question is not worth seriously debating, that route is closed, because Hungary doesn’t agree to that. But let’s speak sensibly about how within the framework of a strategic partnership let’s give the Ukrainians things in which we geostrategically strengthen them.

The prime minister also said that he did not mix questions of money and principle. On the issue of Hungary’s frozen EU funds, Orbán underscored that he believed Hungary was owed the money.

He also hinted Budapest was open to compromising on financial issues.

I am willing on financial questions, to make financial deals. But I am not willing on financial questions, to make strategic or policy deals.

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