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Hungary may impose veto on Ukraine’s EU accession talks, says Hungarian top diplomat

Hungary will do this if it is determined that the negotiations are detrimental to Hungarian interests, Peter Szijjarto said

BUDAPEST, December 16. /TASS/. Hungary will veto the European Union’s talks on the accession of Ukraine if they are found to be detrimental to Hungarian interests, Hungary’s Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto said in an interview with Mandiner magazine.

"The European Union has decided to start accession talks with Ukraine," Hungary’s top diplomat said. "This is a principled decision, which has no practical significance whatsoever."

"In case Brussels, tries to squeeze in during the preparations for the real talks on the [Ukrainian] accession something that would harm us, we will be forced to resort to the tool of tough veto," Szijjarto stressed.

Having called as "completely irrational" a decision to launch talks on Ukraine’s EU accession, the Hungarian foreign minister recalled that his country’s Prime Minister Viktor Orban did not participate in negotiations on this issue at the most recent EU summit in Brussels.

According to Szijjarto, it was the best PM Orban could do in that situation, as the leaders of the other 26 EU countries insisted on providing the green light to Ukraine's accession process.

"We were not involved in this decision, we were not responsible for it and we were exempt from its consequences," the Hungarian foreign minister added.

Speaking to journalists last Friday ahead of the European Union’s Summit in Brussels on December 14-15 Orban said: "No sense of launching talks today with Ukraine [on EU’s admission]."

Hungary’s Premier Orban stated previously in the month that he objected to including the issue of Ukraine's EU membership on the agenda of the organization’s meeting in Brussels on December 14-15.

Hungary has repeatedly stated its intention to keep channels of communication with Russia open in order to continue looking for ways to resolve the Ukraine crisis, among other things.

Putin and Orban focused on this issue at their meeting in Beijing on the sidelines of the Belt and Road international forum on October 17.