Espreso. Global

"We're disappointed": US State Department criticizes Orban's policy on Ukraine

12 January, 2024 Friday
10:38

Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs James O'Brien criticized Hungary's position on supporting Ukraine in repelling Russian aggression

The press service of the US Department of State reported the information.

"We’re coming up on the 25th anniversary of Hungary’s accession to the NATO Alliance. That was a jubilant moment for many of us who had worked through the transition from socialism and for the Hungarians who participated in it. And I think we’re disappointed that Prime Minister (of Hungary - ed.) Orbán has chosen to stand alone in the European Union in questioning whether the fight to support Ukrainians who are asking for the very same freedom that he asked for when he was a young student," O'Brien said.

The assistant secretary of state emphasized that the US would like to see Hungary, which is an EU member and NATO ally, as a constructive partner.

"We all ask tough questions about how best to use our support for Ukraine, but we can do that in an environment where it’s clear that we do support Ukraine.  And I’d hope Hungary can speak in that spirit going forward," O'Brien said.

In addition, the US assistant secretary of state spoke about Hungary's ratification of Sweden's accession to NATO.

"The point on Sweden’s accession, Hungary has always told us it will not be the last country to ratify Sweden’s accession to NATO, and we still expect that to be the case. So we’ll see if it follows through on that promise as we move ever closer to Sweden joining the Alliance, which I hope will be soon," O'Brien said.

  • On December 13, it is reported that Hungary is ready to lift its veto on the EU's proposal to finance Ukraine if the EU unfreezes €30 billion intended for Budapest.
  • On December 14, the European Council decided to start EU accession talks with Ukraine and Moldova, and granted candidate status to Georgia. The EU is ready to start official negotiations on December 18.
  • December 15 Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban vetoes the EU's decision on a €50 billion budget assistance program for Ukraine.
  • On December 15, it was reported that the EU had found a way to circumvent Orban's blocking of €50 billion in aid for Ukraine and set a date for an extraordinary summit.
  • On December 21, Orban came up with a new explanation for his opposition to Ukraine's accession to the EU. On the same day, he said he was ready to meet with Zelenskyy.
  • On January 9, it was reported that Hungary might lift its veto on the EU's €50 billion aid package to Ukraine, provided that the funding is reviewed annually.
  • The European Parliament proposed to deprive Hungary of its voting rights in the EU Council for violating the bloc's values of respect for human dignity, freedom, democracy, equality, and the rule of law.
  • Despite Hungary's opposition, the EU voted to start negotiations on granting Ukraine €50 billion.
  • On January 29, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba and the head of the President's Office, Andriy Yermak, are scheduled to meet in Uzhhorod with Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto.
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