Hungary’s opposition has criticized Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s stance towards Ukraine ahead of an important EU summit next week.
“Once again, Viktor Orbán is acting as a Russian Trojan horse at the European negotiating table by doing Putin’s bidding and undermining the interests and unity of the EU,” said MEP Katalin Cseh, a member of the Hungarian Momentum party.
“Ukrainians are fighting bravely and sacrificing their lives because they want a European future.” “It is morally reprehensible for any EU head of state or government to deny this prospect, and Orban is the only head of state to do so,” she told the Guardian.
Hungary’s Viktor Orban reiterated his opposition to the opening of talks on Kiev’s EU accession, but also indicated a willingness to compromise on other issues.
In an interview with Le Point, the Hungarian Prime Minister emphasized that Hungary rejects the opening of accession talks because Ukraine is not yet ready and the economic impact would be on the EU.
Orban also described Ukraine as “one of the most corrupt countries in the world”.
The European Commission is expected to release €10 billion in EU funds to Hungary soon, despite concerns from some MEPs and civil society groups.
Viktor Orban’s nationalist government has donated money by offering local Hungarians financial subsidies as well as passports, which is technically illegal in Ukraine. Newly funded Hungarian citizens then tend to vote overwhelmingly for Orban’s Fidesz party in elections.
Hungarian state television frequently complains about the oppression of Hungarians in Ukraine, often using terminology reminiscent of Russian propaganda about Ukraine.
One diplomatic source told the Guardian that Orban’s threat to derail Ukraine’s EU accession process was due to his desire to please Putin.
“This shows that the language concerns were wrong all along. This is not about language rights, it’s about a dislike of Ukraine and a desire to ingratiate himself with Putin.”