EU, Ukraine to negotiate on membership in massive reversal

The European Union has decided to open accession negotiations with Ukraine, marking a stunning reversal for a country at war that had previously faced obstinate opposition from Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban. The decision was made at a Brussels summit of the EU’s 27 leaders, signaling hope for the people of Ukraine and for the continent as a whole.

While the process between opening negotiations and Ukraine finally becoming a member could take many years, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has welcomed the agreement as “a victory for Ukraine and for all of Europe.” However, Orban’s opposition remained steadfast, with Hungary arguing that Ukraine is not ready for EU membership. Orban ultimately decided to let his right to oppose lapse, and the decision was made with a unanimous vote.

Despite Hungary’s opposition, the decision was welcomed by many EU leaders, who had originally expected the summit to take at least two days. The move also came as Ukrainian President Zelenskyy was seeking more aid from the U.S. Congress during a trip to Washington. Zelenskyy emphasized the urgency of the situation and urged the EU to honor its agreements and not be seen as untrustworthy.

The decision to open accession negotiations with Ukraine has been described as historic, and marks a positive step for the country’s membership aspirations. This development also comes against the backdrop of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and concerns about the future of the country in Europe.

The role of Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban has also been highlighted, as he has been at odds with his fellow EU leaders for years. Despite opposition, he ultimately decided not to block the move, enabling the EU to open negotiations with Ukraine.

With this decision, the EU has shown its commitment, despite the challenges and opposition, to support Ukraine on its path towards membership. The move holds significance not only for Ukraine but also for the broader geopolitical landscape of Europe.

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