EU on brink of self-destruction as Von der Leyen warned of terrible mistake

Viktor Orban, Hungary’s prime minister, has issued a strong warning that the European Union is on the brink of self-destruction. Speaking ahead of the EU summit, Orban expressed his opposition to the EU’s plans to initiate membership negotiations with Ukraine and to provide financial aid of 50 billion euros to the country.

Orban declared: “The European Union is about to make a terrible mistake, and they must be stopped. This is a mistake; we are destroying the European Union.” He emphasized his stance that Hungary would stand alone against the majority of 26 EU leaders supporting the plans.

The Hungarian leader’s resistance poses a significant challenge, particularly as it comes at a crucial time for Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, who recently sought aid from the US Congress without success.

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Orban’s opposition not only threatens Ukraine’s access to vital financial support but also raises concerns about the EU’s credibility. Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar highlighted the importance of ongoing support from both the EU and the US for Ukraine’s stability. He warned that without such support, Putin could gain an advantage.

Lithuanian President Gitanas Nauseda emphasised the urgency of addressing the issue at the summit, stating: “Ukraine is fighting right now.” The potential impact on the EU’s credibility looms large, as leaders had previously pledged unwavering support for Ukraine.

The EU, consisting of 27 member nations, operates on unanimity in most matters related to Ukraine. Orban’s opposition is seen by many as a challenge to EU solidarity and an opportunity for Russian President Vladimir Putin to disrupt support for Zelensky.

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Even before the summit, French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz attempted to persuade Orban to reconsider his stance. Scholz stressed the need for a clear signal of support for Ukraine and its citizens defending their country.

Orban, however, remained steadfast, rejecting negotiating tactics and stating, “We will not shift on this, no matter the offer. Hungarians are genetically insensitive to pressure.” He asserted that Ukraine had not fulfilled at least three conditions, justifying Hungary’s refusal to engage in membership negotiations.

The situation sets the stage for a tense standoff within the EU, with the next summit scheduled for March. Orban’s opposition raises questions about the EU’s ability to maintain unity in the face of external challenges, particularly in its support for Ukraine against Russian aggression.

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