Prime minister Viktor Orbán – Photo: PMO

Orbán at V4 summit: Visegrad Group ‘still has a future’

Specific and difficult issues tie the Visegrad Group of countries together, and it is easier to address them together than separately, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán said on Thursday in Kosice (Kassa), Slovakia. So the V4 "still has a future", Orbán added.

Common challenges include illegal migration, the energy crisis, preventing a recession and protecting the external Schengen borders, Orbán told a joint press conference at the summit meeting of the prime ministers of the Visegrad countries — Czechia, Poland, Hungary and Slovakia.

The prime minister underlined that Hungary backs Finland and Sweden’s NATO membership, and Hungary’s parliament will consider the matter in its first session next year. “The Swedes and Finns haven’t lost a single minute because of Hungary,” he said, adding that Hungary was committed to providing the necessary support for their accession to the alliance.

Hungary backs Ukraine but rejects EU joint debt

Hungary backs financial support for Ukraine and has earmarked money in the budget for the purpose, Orbán said. “But it doesn’t support European Union indebtedness,” he added.

The government told the European Commission “in advance that we support financial help for Ukraine”, and this was “fair and necessary”, he said, adding that it had also indicated that Hungary would bear its part of the financial burden.

The portion of the 18 billion euros that Hungary has undertaken to provide has been earmarked in the budget, the prime minister said. Hungary’s foreign minister has been empowered to discuss the handover of the monies, he added.

“What we won’t support is a solution that pushes the European Union further into the debt community,” Orbán said. “We won’t ever support this”, regardless of whether the matter concerns Ukraine or any other financial issue, he added.

All blocks to deal with EC ‘have been removed’

“All blocks” to reaching a deal between the European Commission and Hungary on unlocking the country’s EU funding “have been removed”, Orbán said.

At the joint press conference Orbán said Hungary had struck an agreement with the EC on 17 requirements which “they told us they wanted”. “We have substantiated and implemented them,” the prime minister added.

At a commission meeting on Nov. 30, it is expected that a decision will be forthcoming, Orbán said. “We have fulfilled everything we undertook and agreed on,” he said.

Orbán said an “18th demand” had been made with an end-March deadline, and both sides had agreed that Hungary was on track to fulfilling this condition, too.

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