Budapest, May 22 (MTI) – The European Union’s Eastern Partnership summit in Riga failed to resolve issues around lifting the EU’s visa requirement for citizens of Ukraine, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban told public news channel M1 on Friday.
Presenting Hungary’s position, Orban said that the EU should grant visa-free travel to Ukrainians without delay, but added that the majority of participants were against that proposal. Orban added that resolving those issues “has been postponed to the unforeseeable future”.
At the summit, Hungary also proposed that Azerbaijan should be “treated separately” from other countries in the Eastern Partnership programme, so that an early agreement on strategic energy cooperation with that country could be reached. He referred to Azerbaijan as a key country, the only state outside Russia to buy gas from in the near future.
Concerning talks with David Cameron, his British counterpart, Orban said the UK had proposed changes for the EU, which are “worth discussing”. He said it was “reasonable” to talk about fighting abuse of welfare services, reducing migration or making regulations simpler. “They (the UK) want a more flexible EU,” he said.
Summing up the Riga meeting, Orban said that all means should be used to resolve Europe’s current problems, such as slow economic growth and thinning competitiveness.
“We could have been braver today, and I only say half-heartedly that the meeting has been a success”, the prime minister said.