The United States is disappointed with Viktor Orban's policy towards Ukraine, and expects the Hungarian government to fulfill its promise that it will not be the last to ratify Sweden's accession to NATO. He writes Reuters quoted Jim O'Brien, US Undersecretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs.
“I think we are disappointed that Prime Minister Orban decided to be the only person to question the struggle to support Ukrainians in the European Union,” O'Brian said in a video conference, according to the news agency.
Regarding the Swedish issue, he said that it will be clear whether the Hungarian government will fulfill its promise as Sweden approaches it, which he hopes will happen soon. He said he would like Hungary to be a constructive partner.
Reuters reports that the Hungarian government does not provide military assistance to Ukraine, which was attacked by Russia on February 24, 2024. At the EU summit in mid-December, Orban was the only EU leader who opposed and vetoed aid worth $50. One billion euros over four years which will be sent to Ukraine. The package will be discussed again at an extraordinary EU summit in early February.
According to Politico, Hungary may lift its veto against 50 billion euros in EU aid to Ukraine, on the condition that the funding is reviewed every year. On the other hand, Euronews wrote on Wednesday that Orbán has come up with a new request, and according to them, the Hungarian Prime Minister is also asking to withdraw Covid-related recovery funds not until 2026, but until 2028.
Referring to anonymous Bloomberg sources, Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni wants Orban to halt EU aid to Ukraine in exchange for the European Conservatives and Reformists (ECR) family he leads to include him as a member of Fidesz. In addition, the Italian Prime Minister wants Orban to improve his relationship with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and change his negative position on Ukraine's membership in the European Union.
On Thursday, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Peter Szijjarto spoke about the possibility of holding a meeting between the Hungarian and Ukrainian foreign ministers in Ungvar on January 29, where they will review issues of bilateral cooperation. According to the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry, Andriy Yermak, head of Zelensky's office, will also attend the meeting.
A year and a half later, only Hungary and Turkey ratified Sweden's membership in NATO. Turkey had previously not agreed to Sweden's membership because it wanted to get the northern European country to take action against members of the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) on its territory. In addition, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan wanted to pressure the United States to deliver F-16 fighter jets to Turkey.
At the end of December, the Turkish Parliament's Foreign Affairs Committee approved Sweden's application to join NATO, which the Turkish Parliament will discuss in the next step. But the date for the parliamentary vote has not yet been determined.
On the Hungarian side, after discussing it earlier, the Swedish request could have been discussed in Parliament last summer, and a vote on it was not on the agenda in 2023. Accordingly, government representatives have been anticipating Sweden’s accession to NATO for more than a year because “ “Insult” and other concerns, while the government repeatedly promised that Hungary would not be the last to ratify this accession. Prime Minister Viktor Orbán stated at the government briefing at the end of December that Hungarian representatives do not have the courage to take the decision yet.