Expert: Budapest May Block Ukraine EU Negotiations, Unless Georgia Given Candidacy

Hungary would support the opening of accession negotiations with Ukraine only if other EU member states agreed to grant candidate status to Georgia simultaneously, reported Rikard Jozwiak, the Brussels correspondent of the Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, quoting unnamed diplomatic sources.

In a comprehensive analysis of the European Commission’s initial report on Georgia, Ukraine, and Moldova last week, Jozwiak says Georgia is lagging behind Ukraine and, especially, Moldova in fulfilling the Union’s stated conditions. Still, while the two front-runners seem poised to get the opening of the membership negotiations, Ukraine’s bid may be vetoed by Hungary.

Budapest and Kyiv have been at odds over the status and rights of the ethnic Hungarians in Ukraine. The Georgian government, on its part, has fostered cordial relations with Victor Orban’s government in recent years.

Regarding the state of play, the report says the EU considers Ukraine to have completed two out of its seven priorities, Moldova three out of its nine, while Georgia, with a dozen priorities, has only completed three.

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