Hungary places new obstacle in Ukraine's path to EU, demanding repeal of language law
Viktor Orbán (Photo: EPA/Olivier Matthys)

Hungary promises to block the start of negotiations on Ukraine's accession to the European Union, demanding the repeal of the language law. Balázs Orbán, adviser to the Prime Minister of Hungary, said in an interview with NOS.

According to him, Hungary "has always been a supporter of Ukraine's rapprochement with the European Union, but the stricter language law has changed everything."

"We cannot agree with this. Hungary's position is crystal clear: as long as this law exists, there can be no discussions with Ukrainians regarding their integration into the European Union. We will block it until the problem is resolved," Orbán said.

He noted that the language law allegedly "made the life of Hungarians unbearable."

In March 2023, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Hungary, Péter Szijjártó, stated that if Ukraine "does not respect the rights of national minorities", Budapest may not support its integration into the EU and NATO in the future.

On October 7, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán and Russian President Vladimir Putin met in China. The Hungarian leader said that his country "never wanted to oppose Russia and is trying to salvage bilateral contacts." After the meeting with Putin, Orban was sharply criticized by other EU leaders.

On October 25, after Orbán compared Hungary's membership in the EU to the Soviet occupation, the EU's top diplomat Josep Borrell said that no one in the EU is forcing Hungary to stay.

Previously, Orbán stated that helping Ukraine is "not in the interest" of his country, but is "simple civilized behavior."