Zelensky spotted in ‘tense confrontation’ with leader blocking Ukraine EU bid
President Zelensky was seen in deep “intense” conversation with Russia’s closest ally in the EU who has been trying to block Ukraine’s bid to join the bloc.
The Ukrainian war leader and Hungary’s Prime Minister Viktor Orban were seen in animated conversaion on Sunday as they both atteneded the inauguration of Argentina’s new president.
Ahead of a crucial EU summit this week, Orban has been demanding that Ukraine’s membership in the European Union and billions of euros in funding meant for the war-torn country be taken off the agenda.
This week Zelensky also flies to Washington in the hope of securing £47.9billion US defence package from President Biden.
But it’s the events of Thursday at the EU summit which could see a sticky political situation if the Hungarian leader, seen as the “bad boy” of the bloc, continues to call for Ukraine to barred from membership.
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According to the BBC, talks are due to go ahead to “green light” Ukraine’s entry into the European Union at the summit along with £43billion of funding and grants.
Orban, who is seen as a “mouthpiece” for Vladimir Putin, has maintained strong links with the Kremlin despite Russia’s illegal invasion of Ukraine in 2022.
Recently the right-wing popularist leader said Ukraine’s entry to the EU was “unfounded and poorly prepared” telling Hungarian TV: “The Commission proposed that we start negotiations on Ukraine’s EU membership. But this does not concede with the interests of many member states, certainly not with Hungary’s.
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“We’re in a position to dare to say it, no matter how much pressure is put on us. So this matter should not be put on the agenda, and the Commission should understand that it is their responsibility that the meeting was poorly prepared.”
Zelensky witnessed the swearing-in on Sunday of Argentina’s new president, Javier Milei, along with a host of other world leaders.
It was the Ukrainian leader’s first official trip to Latin America as Kyiv continues to court support among developing nations for its 21-month-old fight against Russia’s invading forces.
In Argentina, Milei welcomed Zelenskyy at the presidential palace after his inauguration. The two shared an extended hug, exchanged words and then Milei, who has said he intends to convert to Judaism, presented his Ukrainian counterpart with a menorah as a gift. They were expected to have a longer one-on-one meeting later on Sunday.
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