Ukraine Monitor presents the latest news concerning internal and external matters of Ukraine – a unique country where the interests of the East and the West clash almost every day.
Date: 18 December 2023 Author: Szymon Polewka
EU To Open Membership Talks With Ukraine
European Union leaders agreed on December 14 to start accession talks with EU candidates Ukraine and Moldova while granting formal candidate status to Georgia. Despite that, Viktor Orban, the Hungarian prime minister, opposed Brussels’ proposal to provide €50 billion from EU coffers to Kyiv.
German chancellor Olaf Scholz said he had suggested the Hungarian leader allow other EU member states to decide on Ukraine in his absence. Consequently, EU leaders agreed to start accession talks with EU candidates Ukraine and Moldova while granting formal candidate status to Georgia. Hungary on Friday blocked the European Union from approving €50 billion worth of financial aid package for Ukraine.
According to the Warsaw-based think-tank Centre for Eastern Studies, “the conclusions from the Council’s meeting highlighted that the adoption of the negotiating framework with Ukraine and Moldova, including the convening of the first intergovernmental conference (IGC) to formally open negotiations, will hinge upon Kyiv and Chisinau meeting all the conditions set forth by the European Commission (EC). The EC is expected to present its annual enlargement progress report in March 2024.”
Despite public support in Ukraine for progress toward European Union membership, financial aid in the form of funds, grants, and loans remains a crucial pillar in upholding Ukrainian sovereignty and bolstering its efforts amid the ongoing conflict. Hungary’s blockage of funds within the European Union and the escalating internal divisions in the United States, which have ensnared Kyiv, raise doubts about the potential favorable resolution of the war for Ukraine
Krzysztof Nieczypor, Marta Szpala, UE otwiera rozmowy akcesyjne z Ukrainą i Mołdawią, Ośrodek Studiów Wschodnich
Matina Stevis-Gridneff, Steven Erlanger, Hungary Blocks Ukraine Aid After E.U. Opens Door to Membership, The New York Times, December 14, 2023
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