"This goes down in history." Foreign Minister praises Scholz for  maneuver with Orban at EU summit
Photo: EPA

In an interview with Bild, Minister of Foreign Affairs Dmytro Kuleba said that the actions of German Chancellor Olaf Scholz at the EU summit in Brussels will go down in history. It was the German prime minister who offered Viktor Orbán to temporarily leave the meeting hall when other countries voted for the start of negotiations on Ukraine's accession to the EU.

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In this way, the Hungarian Prime Minister did not have to change his position regarding Ukraine, and the EU countries achieved the necessary decision.

"What German Chancellor Olaf Scholz did at the summit to remove the threatened Hungarian veto will go down in history as an act of German leadership in the interests of Europe. The chancellor has this week won a lot of sincere and well-deserved admiration in the hearts of Ukrainians," Kuleba said.

He said that even in May 2022, his appeals to Germany to lead the process of granting Ukraine the status of a candidate in the EU met with misunderstanding.

"Germany doesn’t want to lead," experts and politicians in Berlin told me. I am glad that German political decisions have changed since then", said the Ukrainian minister.

"We have many reasons to be grateful to Germany: from military aid to financial support. But political clarity regarding Ukraine's membership in the EU is probably the best Christmas gift from Berlin," he added.

On December 14, at the EU summit, Ukraine received the long-awaited opening of negotiations on membership, which Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán threatened to block.

Even on the day of the summit, Orbán did not agree to give the green light to negotiations, and everything was decided at the last moment. According to Politico, Scholz asked Orbán to leave the hall during the vote. The Prime Minister of Hungary left, abstained from voting – and the opening of negotiations was approved without him.