Politico: French President Invites Hungarian Prime Minister to Convince Him to Support Ukraine's Accession to EU

Tuesday, 5 December 2023

French President Emmanuel Macron has invited Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán to a meeting in Paris later this week to find a compromise on starting negotiations with Ukraine on its EU membership.  

A source in Paris told Politico that the French president believes that the Hungarian leader can still be persuaded to support Ukraine's accession to the EU.  

According to the official, Orbán "raised the stakes" to get more money from the EU. 

"This is a purely tactical moment... therefore, there is some optimism that we can reach an agreement," the source said. 

A diplomat from another EU country called Orbán's threats a political spectacle and tried to counter the impression that the Hungarian prime minister was dictating the agenda to the other 26 countries, saying: "Another day, another letter from Budapest. What's new?" 

However, another senior diplomat from a third EU country said Orbán was becoming increasingly unyielding. The EU representative in Brussels also said that this time, Orbán seems to be making it clear that he will not back down from his position on Ukraine's accession, even if he receives more funds from the EU. 

It is worth noting that during one of the last meetings between Macron and Orbán this spring, the leaders talked about reviewing Russia's participation in the Paks II Nuclear Power Plant project. In particular, it was about increasing the role of France.

In November, Hungary and Russia signed the scheduled construction of the Paks II Nuclear Power Plant.

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