Austria backs Belgium in deprivation of Hungary's voting rights in the EU

The flag of Austria
The flag of Austria

Austria supports Belgium's call to deprive Hungary of its voting rights, as Budapest's six-month presidency of the EU Council will begin in July, Austrian Foreign Ministry said, Politico reported on June 4.

“We expect all 27 EU members to fully respect principles on which our common Union is based,” he said.

He noted that this is especially true for the upcoming EU presidency.

Read also: Hungary still considering participation at Global Peace Summit, despite dissing Russia's non-participation

“On this basis, we support the strict continuation of the Article 7 procedure with regard to Hungary,” FM represantative added.

On June 4, Belgian Foreign Minister Hadja Lahbib called on the EU countries to consider starting the procedure for depriving Hungary of its voting rights in the EU.

Tensions and talks in Ukrainian-Hungarian relations

Read also: Hungary faces demotion in next European Commission over Russia ties

Relations between Hungary and Ukraine have been tense, particularly over issues of minority rights in the Zakarpattya Oblast. During a Jan. 11 visit to Uzhhorod, Hungarian Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó, alongside Ukrainian counterpart Dmytro Kuleba and the Presidential Office head Andriy Yermak, engaged in talks that lasted over six hours. The discussions concluded with an agreement to address minority rights, with a special commission set to outline unresolved issues within ten days.

Szijjártó has been vocal about Ukraine's alleged infringements on the rights of Hungarian minorities, stating that Hungary would block Ukraine-NATO cooperation until these issues are resolved. Kuleba accused Hungary of "fundamentally promoting the issue of national minorities" in its policies on Nov. 7, 2023.

Interactions between Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban have been limited. He never discussed a ceasefire or negotiations with Russian leader Vladimir Putin with Orban, Zelenskyy reported on Dec. 19.

Read also: Hungary files complaint with EU over minority rights in Ukraine — media

He accepted an invitation from Zelenskyy for talks, following a brief interaction at Argentina's President Javier Milei inauguration on Dec. 10., Orban alleged on Dec. 21, however.

"I told him that I would be at his service. We only need to clarify one question: about what," Hungarian PM said then.

Read also: Hungary opposes Mark Rutte's candidacy for NATO Secretary General

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