Orban Offers 'Strategic Partnership' With Ukraine Instead Of EU Accession Talks

(MENAFN- UkrinForm) Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban has said that the European Union should first sign a "strategic partnership agreement" with Ukraine instead of starting membership talks with the country.

That's according to Reuters , Ukrinform reports.

"If we don't know (what consequences it would have) then we should not start talks... So I will represent the view [at the EU summit] that the EU should first sign a strategic partnership agreement with Ukraine. This (agreement) could last for up to 5-10 years, let's bring them closer, as the gap is too wide now," Orban said.

He added that later it would be possible to raise the question of Ukraine's membership in the EU.

"Let's give time for us to work together, and when we see that we can work together, then let's bring up the issue of membership," Orban said.

The Hungarian premier urged a ceasefire in Ukraine, and said if the EU wanted to give more money to Ukraine then it should set up a separate financial fund outside the EU budget based on an intergovernmental agreement.

"Everybody should put in the money that they want to, and we should send the money to Ukraine from (this fund)," he said, adding that sending financing to Ukraine to fight the war from the EU's budget has overstretched the budget.

On November 8, the European Commission recommended that the European Council open EU accession negotiations with Ukraine and Moldova. It also recommended opening such negotiations with Bosnia and Herzegovina once the necessary degree of compliance with the membership criteria is achieved, as well as granting candidate status to Georgia.

On December 14 of this year, the European Council should consider the issue of starting negotiations on Ukraine's accession to the EU.

President Volodymyr Zelensky said he expected the European Union to fulfill its promise to start accession negotiations with Ukraine in response to the country's full implementation of all recommendations of the European Commission.


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