Hungary key holdout as Ukraine's path to EU membership remains stalled – Reuters
Viktor Orban (Photo - EPA)

Hungary may become the main obstacle for Ukraine's accession to the European Union. Such opinions of EU diplomats and officials are quoted by Reuters.

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According to Reuters sources, the "heavyweights" of the European Union, France and Germany, are most likely to support the start of negotiations on Ukraine's accession to the EU, if the European Commission gives a positive assessment of Ukraine's fulfillment of the accession conditions (the European Commission's report is expected in October, but may be postponed until November).

However, diplomats and EU officials say Hungary could become a more serious obstacle for Ukraine, as its objection would be enough to block the start of accession talks.

"For Ukraine, the biggest obstacle is Hungary and the discussion around national minorities. Politically, that will be the most important obstacle," a high-ranking EU diplomat told the agency on condition of anonymity.

Hungarian Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó said in July that the next assessment of Ukraine's accession process should include checking whether the rights of the Hungarian community are respected in Ukraine.

On December 7, 2020, Szijjártó tried to raise the issue of the Hungarian national minority in Ukraine at a meeting of the Council of the European Union on Foreign Affairs, but his colleagues did not support his initiative.

On June 27, 2023, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán said that "Ukraine has ceased to be a sovereign country" and that he does not consider Russian dictator Vladimir Putin a war criminal.