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EU Races to Approve Ukraine Accession Talks Before Hungary’s Council Presidency


The European Commission is reportedly planning to recommend the EU initiate accession talks with Ukraine start before July. This comes ahead of the start of Hungary’s presidency of the Council of the EU, according to the Financial Times report on June 7.

Belgium, the current holder of the presidency, is advancing with efforts to secure unanimity for the move before Hungary takes over the presidency on July 1.

Hungary has maintained close ties with the Kremlin since the onset of Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine and has consistently opposed sanctions against Moscow while obstructing EU support for Kyiv.

It was also reported earlier in May that EU and Ukrainian officials are striving to initiate formal accession negotiations by June 25, with intensive diplomacy underway to persuade Hungary to withdraw its objections to Kyiv’s membership.

Ukraine was granted EU membership candidate status in June 2022. In November 2023, the European Commission recommended the initiation of accession talks with Kyiv.

The Financial Times noted that Hungary is anticipated to raise objections, particularly regarding the minority language issue. Budapest has consistently asserted that the Hungarian ethnic minority, primarily concentrated in southwestern Ukraine, faces discrimination due to Kyiv’s language laws.

Ukraine refutes these allegations and updated its national minorities law at the close of 2023 in accordance with EU recommendations.

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