The Hungarian government, driven by pro-Russian politicians, keeps on attempting to obstruct Ukraine’s integration into the EU and block the amount of aid supplied by the union.
On November 17, Hungary’s government sent out a survey to its residents asking if the European Union should send more funding to Ukraine or grant it membership, which observers said was an attempt by Prime Minister Viktor Orban to gain support.
At the congress of his Fidesz party on November 18, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban reiterated that he considers it a mistake to open negotiations on Ukraine’s accession to the European Union while it is “not ready”.
Orban seeks support for his anti-Ukraine stance
According to an October study by the liberal think tank Republikon, support for Orban’s ruling Fidesz party has dropped by 5 points in the last year, as Hungary suffers with the EU’s highest inflation rate and an economic slump.
Fidesz retained 29% of the vote, considerably ahead of its nearest opposition challenger, which received 12%, but Orban will be eager to reverse the decline ahead of European Parliament elections next June.
In office since 2010, Orban has clashed with the EU over the Brussels decision to block Hungary’s access to billions of euros in funding due to concerns about the country’s democratic backsliding during his tenure, which Orban disputes.
Read more in our article: Hungary: Orbán’s party has significantly lost support
The survey’s questions portray the EU as preferring Ukraine over Hungary, one of its members.
Orban’s attempts to block support for Ukraine
Orban claimed that the EU’s strategy of giving money and military aid to Ukraine had failed, and he opposed beginning membership talks with Kyiv.
His government has adopted a different approach to Ukraine than the rest of the EU, refusing to provide weaponry and condemning EU sanctions against Russia. Still, it has eventually supported all measures imposed thus far.
Hungary has recently escalated its threats to obstruct the start of discussions on Ukraine’s admission to the EU owing to claimed violations of the rights of Ukraine’s Hungarian-speaking minority.
The Hungarian government has likewise planned “consultations” with the population, focusing mainly on the approval of Ukraine’s EU membership.
If Orban manages to disrupt the process of Ukraine’s integration into the EU or reduces the amount of assistance provided to fight the Russian invaders, it could have a harmful impact not only on Ukraine but also on the European Union.