Two EU Member States agree with Viktor Orbán that one of the European Union’s primary goals should be to achieve a ceasefire and peace negotiations.
Hungary, Italy, and Cyprus agree that a ceasefire and peace negotiations between Russia and Ukraine should be one of the European Union’s priorities. But other Member States are urging a tough line on Russia.
“unwavering in its commitment to help Ukraine exercise its inherent right of self-defence against the Russian aggression,”
however, it does not mention peace negotiations.
Reuters has learned from EU delegates at last Friday’s meeting that the Italian ambassador is proposing changes to the text. These changes were then backed by Hungary and Cyprus. The Italian suggestion is that the document should include a reference to peace talks, with an immediate ceasefire as one of the main objectives.
As is well known, Hungary opposes the EU’s oil embargo, while Cyprus opposes a draft that would ban Russian citizens from buying property in Cyprus. But other Member States, Reuters reports, are calling for tough action against Russia. The Baltic countries and Poland are the most committed supporters of this approach.
Latvia, for example, has called for even clearer language on military support to Ukraine.
The president of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen herself, took a hardline stance in her speech at the World Economic Forum in Davos:
“Ukraine must win this war, and Putin’s aggression must be a strategic failure,”
Hungary has long taken the position that it cannot support the oil embargo in its current form. Thus, it is forced to use its veto power in the absence of adequate safeguards. As atv.hu writes, Orbán does not even want to discuss the proposal at next week’s EU summit, a decision made clear to Charles Michel.
“[Negotiating a sanctions package] would only highlight our internal divisions without giving us a realistic chance to resolve our differences. I therefore propose that the next European Council should not address this issue,”
Hungarian PM Orbán wrote in a letter to the president of the European Council.
Source: Reuters, atv.hu, hirklikk.hu