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Hungary’s veto on EUR 55 billion for Kyiv has created an emergency situation that threatens the outcome of the war – MEP Kalniete

Hungary’s veto on EUR 55 billion in support for Ukraine has created an emergency situation that threatens the outcome of the war, stressed European Parliament Member Sandra Kalniete (New Unity), addressing the audience at the European Person of the Year in Latvia award ceremony.

She pointed out that without the support of its allies, Ukraine could lose to Russia, which would be a loss for the whole democratic world. The European Union (EU) is currently working on a mechanism to bypass the Hungarian veto and provide Ukraine with the necessary means to wage war.

In the politician’s view, it is “deplorable and immoral” that the Republicans in the US Congress are no better than the Hungarian leaders. They are doing the same when they try to use aid to Ukraine to solve their own domestic political problems. By hesitating to give 60 billion worth of military aid, they are, in effect, ‘playing’ on the Kremlin’s side.

The MEP noted that when Russia started to concentrate hundreds of thousands of troops and military equipment on Ukraine’s borders, it was difficult to accept the obvious that war was about to break out. In her view, Europe’s awakening after the Russian invasion of Ukraine on February 24, 2022 was harsh.

“After seventy-seven years of peace, war had started again in Europe. The West’s cherished policy of cooperation and appeasement with Russia had been defeated. We must face the truth that the Cold War has started again, even though political scientists and politicians are reluctant to use this term,” said Kalniete.

She drew attention to the fact that Russia’s aggression has significantly increased the influence of the Baltic States in EU policy-making. The partners of Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia have finally appreciated the Baltic countries’ in-depth expertise on Russia’s imperialist ideology and policies, which is based on pragmatic historical experience and not on theoretical concepts invented in cabinets.

In the politician’s assessment, the new situation requires strategic decisions and immediate action by the EU and NATO to support Ukraine in its fight against the aggressor. Kalniete stressed that crises have always strengthened the EU, but the war in Ukraine is the most serious test of European unity.

“So far, each of the 12 sanctions packages has been a result of long and detailed negotiations, as the severing of ties with Russia is causing serious economic problems in many countries. However, until the last European Council, it was possible to reach unanimous decisions on assistance to Ukraine,” said Kalniete.

The MEP said that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine had helped the EU to realize the true scale of the geopolitical confrontation and also the risks. After a gap of almost two decades, European leaders have turned their attention seriously to EU enlargement. On December 14, the European Council took the historic decision to open accession talks with Ukraine and Moldova.

“This is a wise and far-sighted decision, stemming from the pressing need to fortify Europe against Russian threats and potential aggression,” the politician concluded.

The MEP pointed out that in her frequent meetings with Ukrainian politicians, she has always stressed that joining NATO is easier than joining the EU because it is primarily a political decision. Kalniete stressed that in peacetime it took Latvia seven years from the submission of its application to the EU to the conclusion of accession negotiations, so politicians and diplomats in war-torn Ukraine should prepare for a patient and long negotiation process, during which each of the 26 Member States would fight for its national interests.

She stressed that the EU institutions must also prepare to welcome new Member States. This is recognized by both the European Commission and the Member States, which have started consultations on the reform of EU institutions and policies. According to Kalniete, similar consultations took place before the previous wave of enlargement, when the treaties were revised. At that time, the future Member States, including Latvia, took part in the negotiations on reforms. In the MEP’s view, it would be right and fair if the candidate countries were invited to participate this time too.

“Past experience shows that changing the EU treaties is a slow and stumbling process. Both because reforms have to be agreed by consensus and because treaty changes have to be ratified by Member States. In some countries, a referendum is needed to approve them,” she explained.

In her view, countries that could use institutional reform to delay the enlargement process are already beginning to emerge, which is why countries friendly towards Ukraine need to work hard and persistently in international forums and bilaterally to persuade the “reluctant and evasive” countries. Just as we are doing by politically supporting and promoting Ukraine’s accession to NATO.

Source: BNS

(Reproduction of BNS information in mass media and other websites without written consent of BNS is prohibited.)

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