In late January, Olha Stefanishyna, the deputy prime minister for European and Euro-Atlantic Integration, said Ukraine was working to organize an official Orban’s visit, the first in 14 years.
Hungarian parliament speaker Sandor Lezsak has signed off on Sweden's accession to NATO after Hungary's legislature ratified it earlier this week, Reuters reported on March 2, citing the parliament's voting records.
Hungary did not give an explicit reason for its objection, sources told Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL).
After almost two years of delays, Hungary's parliament is set to bring Sweden's NATO accession to a vote on Feb. 26. The ruling Fidesz party has pledged its support for the measure, making its passage all but ensured.
According to Szijjarto, Budapest will not obstruct the approval, as all elements of the sanctions package that "harmed Hungarian interests have been removed” and the updated package does not "affect the basic economic interests” of his country.
China has offered long-term support to Budapest on security measures, expanding mutual ties beyond economic cooperation, Reuters reported on Feb. 19 after Chinese Public Security Minister Wang Xiaohong's visit to Hungary.
The wave of discontent arose after it was revealed that President Katalin Novak, who resigned on Feb. 10, pardoned a man convicted of covering up widespread sex abuse at a government-run children's home.
The BBC and other outlets have characterized the ongoing scandal as Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban's "biggest challenge in 14 years of uninterrupted Fidesz rule."
Hungary has blocked the approval of the European Union’s latest package of sanctions against Russia due to the presence of Chinese companies in the list, the Financial Times (FT) reported on Feb. 15, citing unnamed European officials.
Media: Hungary's OTP Bank Group, which still works in Russia, interested in buying Ukrainian state-owned bank
Hungarian banking group OTP Bank, which was once added to Kyiv's international sponsors of war list, expressed interest in buying Ukraine's state-owned Sense Bank, Ukrainska Pravda media outlet reported on Feb. 12, citing unnamed sources familiar with acquisition talks.
Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban said that Ukraine should be left as a "buffer zone" between Russia and the West, with allies giving the country security guarantees but not accepting it into the EU or NATO.
When European leaders agreed to Ukraine’s accession talks in December 2023, the historic move was hailed in Kyiv as a recognition of years of struggle to get closer to the bloc since the EuroMaidan Revolution. The agreement came after a European Commission decision in November 2023 recommending talks begin
The aid deal includes a provision for a yearly discussion on the package and the potential to review it in two years "if needed," but there is no explicit veto for Hungary or any other member state.
There is a long road ahead before a meeting between Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky can take place, Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto said during a briefing on Jan. 30, as reported by Reuters.
Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban sought to blackball Ukraine’s bid to formally start EU accession talks last month, arguing that Ukraine was simply not ready. Ultimately, the other 26 EU member states decided to ignore Orban’s protestations and formally agreed to the start of accession talks with Ukraine.
The 26 European Union member states are determined to overcome Hungary's objections and move forward with several key priorities for Ukraine in one of the most "complex, complicated, and difficult European Councils."
Episode #34 is dedicated to why Hungary's pro-Russian government is blocking Ukraine's European integration.
A study published by the NGO GLOBSEC in late May shows that despite the Hungarian government's history of repeated anti-Ukrainian statements, 90% of Hungarians believe that it is necessary to continue supporting Ukrainian refugees amid Russia's full-scale war.
Hungary will introduce new measures to curb grain volumes coming from Ukraine, including tariffs and quantitative limits on imports of Ukrainian grain and oilseeds, Minister of Agriculture Istvan Nagy said on April 9.
The European Parliament finally approved an 18 billion euro macro-financial aid package to Ukraine on Dec. 14, after striking a deal with Hungary to drop its veto. The parliament employed a so-called "urgent procedure" to allow 26 member states to act as the loan guarantors for Ukraine, relieving Hungary from