The European Union is already in a "strategic partnership" relationship with Ukraine, as an association agreement is in effect between the EU and Ukraine, stated the head of the European Council, Charles Michel, Reuters reports.
On the sidelines of the COP28 summit in Dubai, the chief of the European Council was asked to comment on Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán's call to start establishing "strategic partnership" relations with Ukraine instead of negotiations on its accession to the EU.
Michel replied that the European Union and Ukraine have long been in "strategic partnership" relations, as an association agreement is in effect between them.
"We have an association agreement with Ukraine, which offers a lot of possibilities for close cooperation with Ukraine," said the head of the European Council.
He also said that an "in-depth debate" with the 27 EU countries is planned for December to assess the possibility of starting accession negotiations with Ukraine.
The decision regarding the start of negotiations between the European Union and Ukraine regarding accession is expected to be settled in December at the EU summit. This decision requires the unanimous approval of all 27 member states. However, the EU has a plan "B" in case not all 27 member states opt to vote.
On November 22, media reports suggested Orbán threatened to block all European Union aid to Ukraine, as well as the country's future accession to the bloc, if EU leaders do not agree to review their strategy for supporting Ukraine.
On November 8, the European Commission recommended starting negotiations on Ukraine's accession to the European Union.
On November 10, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban stated that Hungary has a "clear stance" that there should be no negotiations regarding Ukraine's accession to the European Union.