Espreso. Global

EU should boost military production, find ways to overcome Orban's objections to Ukraine's EU membership - Viola von Cramon

5 December, 2023 Tuesday

MEP Viola von Cramon discusses possible solutions to overcome Hungary's objections to Ukraine's EU membership and the extent of aid provided by the EU to the country

According to von Cramon, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban is the only obstacle on the EU's path to opening negotiations with Ukraine.

“There is just one spoiler, and this spoiler - Viktor Orban - tries to blackmail us, as he has done before…He wants to unfreeze his own money because he has not implemented any reforms on jurisprudence, on domestic reforms, on media, on electoral reforms. That’s why we had to freeze his money,” the MEP explained.

She believes that Viktor Orban is trying to undermine the entire EU and promote Russia's interests.

“Of course, we could give him part of the money and then maybe he would change his mind, but I don’t think that it is about this. He wants to destroy the EU from the inside. He is Putin’s man in the European Union. And we should start really thinking whether to kick him out of the EU and how to make sure that he is not a constant spoiler in this game,” the MEP said.

She further stated that there may be different possible ways to counter Hungary’s objections.

“We can come up with a different solution where we have intergovernmental contracts, not going through the EU mechanism, but that is a bit more of administrative work and that’s why I think everyone in Brussels would like to avoid this method. But generally, I think we should not allow Orban to blackmail us and to put a threat on Ukraine,” she added.

Another possible solution may be to come with a new mechanism, similar to the one established for Greece in 2009-2010.

“There was the structure that not every country contributed to the financial aid to Greece, and one could think about similar methodology. But it is, of course, not that convenient. On the other hand, it’s not okay if Hungary does not play according to the rule. This country has nothing to do in the European Union. And I think it’s up to the leaders, the heads of states, to come up with a plan of how to deal with Hungary in general,” the MEP said and added “But what we really should try to avoid is that Ukraine suffers and the Hungarian veto or the Hungarian blockade. And, hopefully, there will be a solution for this particular case during the summit in Brussels.”

She also criticized the slow pace of the European countries in providing military aid to Ukraine.

“We have promised a couple of months ago that we would give 1 million ammunition to Ukraine. And we have not even reached 250,000-300,000. So we have just ⅓ of what we promised. And Ukraine needs a lot. 

She stressed that Russia is increasing its military production rates, which requires the same approach from Western countries.

“Russia is scaling up its production, it’s scaling up its capacities. We know that there are missiles, there are rockets, there are munitions, artillery, tanks, everything. And we still go ahead as if there is no war. And that is a problem. So, yes, compared to many other countries, Germany has provided some equipment, that’s for sure, that’s better than expected. But it’s still not enough. And we need to make sure Ukraine can win this war. We need to make sure you are successful with the counteroffensive. And for this, you need much more long-range weapons, you need much more offensive weapons, you need many more tanks,” the MEP said and added “We need to adapt quicker, our industries, they have to receive these orders, it needs a quicker process of certification of this equipment. Every time you are talking to people who are involved, they say ‘yeah, it’s coming, yeah, we are working on it’ but we are too slow.”

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