Media reports European Council director shortens China visit due to Ukraine quarrel

(MENAFN) European Council President Charles Michel is set to curtail his visit to China, rushing back to Brussels ahead of schedule to address the escalating dispute over Ukraine's bid for European Union (EU) membership, as reported by Politico on Tuesday. The urgency stems from Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban's call for a postponement of accession talks with Kiev until the European Union formulates a cohesive strategy toward Ukraine.

According to sources cited by Politico, Michel will conclude his scheduled one-day meetings in China on Thursday and promptly return to Brussels to continue discussions with European Union leaders on charting a path forward. Ukraine formally applied for European Union membership in February, securing candidate status just four months later. A set of draft conclusions for an upcoming European Union leaders' summit later this month reportedly includes a provision to open accession negotiations with both Ukraine and Moldova.

However, the situation took a contentious turn with Hungarian Prime Minister Orban urging Michel, in a letter dated Monday, to delay any decisions on these negotiations. Orban argued that the European Council cannot make key decisions until a consensus on the bloc's future strategy toward Ukraine is reached.

Hungarian government spokesman Zoltan Kovacs expressed a more direct stance, questioning the feasibility of discussing the accession of a country that has been embroiled in war for the last two years. Kovacs pointed to challenges such as public administration reliant on foreign aid, high levels of corruption, and a significant portion of the country under occupation. He emphasized skepticism about Ukraine's readiness for accession talks given these complex circumstances.

The article delves into the intensifying diplomatic rift within the European Union over Ukraine's membership bid, exploring the perspectives of key players such as Charles Michel, Viktor Orban, and Zoltan Kovacs. It examines the intricacies of Hungary's objections and sheds light on the broader implications for the European Union's unity and decision-making processes. As tensions rise, the piece delves into the challenges facing Ukraine's aspirations for European Union membership and the delicate balancing act required to navigate the complex geopolitical landscape


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