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Ukraine – Hungary Relationship UPSC NOTE

 What is Hungary’s stance on aid to Ukraine?

  • Hungarian prime minister is a rightwing leader, is a close ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin.

  • In April 2022, after his re-election, he named Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky as one of the “opponents” he had to overcome. 

  • He believes that the regime in Ukraine is beset by corruption, and that the country is not yet ready for EU membership

  • He believes Ukraine should first serve as a strategic partner of the EU for some time before membership talks can begin.

  • He has been opposed to the financial package on the grounds that a non-EU member to Ukraine.

What is the backdrop of the latest move?

  • The EU had frozen substantial funds earmarked for Hungary, on the grounds that Hungary had violated EU norms on law and order and judicial independence. 

  • Hungary has sought to use its veto power on Ukraine’s long-term funding as well as formal membership talks as a bargaining chip to get EU to unfreeze these funds

  • In fact, a day before the summit meeting, the EU released €10 billion of frozen funds to Hungary.

  • The European Commission, has maintained that the timing was a mere coincidence and the funds were released in response to Hungary meeting EU’s demands on judicial reforms.

Ukraine’s EU membership ?

  • Accession to the EU is a long-drawn process, where a country has to fulfil several governance-related and other requirements. 

  • If we exclude the six founding members, on an average, it took about nine years for each of the other 21 members to gain membership

  • Hungary will have plenty of opportunities to disrupt or even derail Ukraine’s membership process.

  • For Ukraine’s membership have to be approved by the Parliaments of all the EU nations, including Hungary’s. 

  • In short the EU membership of Ukraine is not happening in near future.

Why is the EU aid package important for Ukraine?

  • President Zelensky is extremely worried about war fatigue eroding support for Ukraine’s resistance to Russia.

  • The U.S. Reports indicate that a substantial number of Republican lawmakers — and their followers — are losing patience with the lack of military successes.

  • They are concerned about funnelling American tax payer dollars into a conflict that is increasingly looking like a war their side cannot win. 

  • The Republicans want President Joe Biden to tighten immigration policy in exchange for their support on approving a further $61 billion of aid to Ukraine.

  • Presidential elections are due next year, and a victory for Donald Trump and his ‘America First’ foreign policy could bring an end to the generous U.S. aid for the Ukrainian war effort. 

  • This leaves a relatively small window for Mr. Zelensky to not only obtain whatever financial aid he can but also secure binding political support .

Hungary Location

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