EC president Michel to hold key talks with Orban in Budapest
Monday, 27 November, 2023, 17:48
European Council President Charles Michel will travel to Hungary for a bilateral meeting with Hungarian PM Viktor Orban on November 27, a couple of days after Hungary’s strongman called for "urgent discussion" on the bloc's overall strategy on Ukraine in a letter addressed to Michel.
According to the official statement, the talks will be a preparation for the December 14-15 meeting of the European Council, but observers say Michel is coming to Budapest to try to remove Vikor Orban’veto against further aid for Ukraine.
The European Council is unable to make key decisions on security guarantees for Ukraine, additional financial support, further strengthening of the EU sanctions regime (against Russia), or the future of the enlargement process unless a consensus on our future strategy toward Ukraine is found," according to Orban's letter.
Effectively, Orban has continued to threaten to block additional support for Ukraine, the start of Ukraine's EU accession negotiations, and a new round of sanctions against Russia.
Facing difficulties on the military front, Ukraine is awaiting new arms deliveries, financial support, and negotiations for EU membership
Orban is accused of wielding his veto power against European aid to Ukraine to unlock European funds. The disbursements of the RRF fund, totalling €10.4bn, remain contingent on progress in meeting more than two dozen super milestones.
The funds from this plan are frozen until Hungary fulfills a series of conditions set by the Commission, including independence of the judiciary, combating corruption, and public procurement rules.
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