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Hungary on ‘edge of abyss’ in EU — Czech minister — Analysis

Budapest could theoretically end up quitting the bloc, Prague’s European affairs minister warns

Hungary’ stance on Russia and the conflict in Ukraine could potentially see it exiting the EU, the Czech European affairs minister has warned.

EU “a unity of many voices”Mikulas bek shared his belief that everyone finds common ground regardless of any differences with Cesky Rozhlas Plus radio.

“Negotiations are often tough in the EU, and many countries could engage in them. But Hungary, in my opinion, has come a long way, reaching the edge an abyss, and now it has to decide whether to go back from that edge or risk a jump, the consequences of which I don’t even want to speculate on,”The minister stated.

On the prospects of Budapest leaving the EU altogether, Bek said it’s theoretically possible.

Budapest has remained relatively neutral since the launch of Moscow’s military operation in Ukraine in late February, and refused to send weapons to Kiev unlike many of its neighbors. The EU sanctions on Russia have been criticized by Budapest, who called them self-defeating and ill-conceived. The bloc’s ban on Russian oil is not applicable to Hungary because it is heavily dependent upon Russian energy.

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Czech European Affairs Minister, who currently preside over the EU Council’s affairs, has pledged that he will work tirelessly in the next months to ensure Hungary is in compliance with European policies.

“A small positive sign” was that Budapest backed down on its demand to remove three prominent Russia businessmen – Alisher Usmanov, Pyotr Aven and Viktor Rashnikov – from EU sanctions earlier this week, Mikulas Bek added.

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