The Hungarian Prime Minister said Ukraine is “light years” away from being invited into the European Union (EU) in Saturday comments.
At a biannual congress for his party, Viktor Orbán said he and his government would push back against December talks on whether Ukraine should be invited to begin membership negotiations, according to The Associated Press.
“Our task will be to correct the mistaken promise to start negotiations with Ukraine, since Ukraine is now light years away from the European Union,” Orbán said, according to the AP.
Orbán has threatened to withdraw support for Ukraine as it fights an ongoing war with Russia in the past, in relation to its treatment of ethnic Hungarians. He told lawmakers that he was protesting a 2017 law limiting Hungarians from speaking their language, saying Hungary wouldn’t support Ukraine when it comes to international issues, “until the previous laws are restored” back in September.
He added that “Hungary is doing everything for peace” in the war between Ukraine and Russia.
“But unfortunately the Russian-Ukrainian war continues, tens of thousands of people are victims,” he said, according to transcripts of the speech from Hungarian media outlets. “Diplomats must take control back from the hands of the soldiers, otherwise it will be in vain for women to wait for their sons and fathers and husbands to come home.”
Orbán is also one of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s only allies in the EU. He has also said negotiations on allowing Ukraine into the EU shouldn’t start when the country is at war.
The Associated Press contributed.